The efficiency of your heating equipment is measured by a rating system called AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). It’s a ratio of useful energy output to energy input, expressed as a percentage. For example a 60% AFUE for a gas furnace means it puts out 60 BTU’s of usable energy for every 100 BTU’s of natural gas put into it. The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the heating equipment.
The other factor that affects the efficiency of your heating equipment is the type of thermostat you have. There are three main types: classic non-programmable dial thermostats, programmable thermostats and smart thermostats. Least efficient are the classic dial devices, which require you to physically change the temperature. Most efficient are the new smart thermostats, which you can program to suit your daily heating and cooling needs – and many models are weather responsive, as well. The idea is to only be using energy when you need it, rather than heating or cooling an empty space. And of course you can adjust the temperature in your home from anywhere using your smart device.
Our Energy Report Card will show you the AFUE rating of your heating equipment as well as the types of thermostats present in the home.
- If you have a low AFUE rating on your heating equipment, the best solution is to replace it with something more efficient. If replacement isn’t immediately an option, make sure you’re retaining as much as possible of your heater’s output by reducing your air infiltration. If cold air is leaking into your home, your heater has to work even harder.
- Ensure you’re using your heating equipment only when you need it by using a smart thermostat.