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How To Choose An Efficient Heater

Like many other Southern Louisiana homeowners, you’re probably more worried about your AC’s efficiency than your heater. We just get so much more hot weather — it makes it easy to forget about our heaters! However, your HVAC system is responsible for a huge portion of your energy usage. That means you need a high-efficiency furnace and AC to cover your home all year long.

Southern Air knows how involved a heater installation can be. It’s not just about providing a flawless installation of the unit itself, but it’s also about making sure you can navigate the process with as little stress as possible. Trust us to tell you the truth about choosing an efficient unit for your furnace replacement!

The Heat Load Calculation

One of the most important ways to ensure your furnace will be efficient is investing in the correctly sized unit for your home. Sizing is important because it determines if the system can accurately and efficiently warm your home. For example, a unit that’s too small will run long cycles to try to keep up with the demand of the home. A unit that is too big will run short cycles, turning off and on frequently and providing poor dehumidification.

To make sure you invest in the proper size, you should have a heat load calculation completed on your home. It’s best to have a professional HVAC contractor do this calculation because they are trained to factor in everything about your home that may affect the heating process. They’ll be able to determine how many British Thermal Units (BTUs) your home requires to be sufficiently heated. Those BTUs can then be translated into tonnage — the way HVAC systems are sized.

AFUE Rating

Besides how well your new furnace will warm your home, you may also want to know how much energy the system wastes during the heating process. The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) is a rating that reveals the exact percentage of waste that the system incurs. For example, if the rating on the system is 87% efficiency, that means 87% of the fuel source is turned into heat and 13% is wasted as a byproduct of the process.

The industry minimum for furnaces is set at 78%. An average, mid-efficiency system runs between 80 and 85%, but a highly-efficient system rests between 90a and 97% efficiency.

Post Furnace Investment

After you invest in the heater you believe will offer you the highest home efficiency, don’t stop there! Make sure the entire system that the heater is operating with will also maintain high efficiency.

  • Air Ducts — The ductwork that your new furnace will be connected to can cause massive energy loss if it contains unidentified holes, cracks or leaks. Have a professional test your air ducts for air leaks. Then, make sure the problem areas are sealed. This allows the warm air to travel straight to your home and not be lost.
  • Home Sealing — You can also help your heating system by ensuring your home is sealed and ready to retain the heat it’s about to produce. Freshen the window caulk around your windows, replace the weather stripping on your doors and evaluate your insulation to make sure your home is working with your heater, not against it.
  • Thermostats — Something as simple as a programmable thermostat could also allow your heater to operate more efficiently. With strategic times set for the heater to run, you’ll save energy and money!

Boost Your Efficiency Today!

Southern Air is eager to help make your home comfortable and practical. If you’re ready to make an energy-efficient choice, we can help. Contact us today to start heating your home reliably and efficiently!

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