Furnaces can run on various fuel sources, but natural gas is the most common in most parts of the country, including the St. Louis area. If you currently have a natural gas furnace or you’re looking to buy a new one shortly, it’s important to understand how energy efficiency plays a role in the operating costs of your unit. So, let’s take a look at how to determine and maximize the efficiency of a natural gas furnace.

How to determine the efficiency of a natural gas furnace

The efficiency of a natural gas furnace can be determined by looking at its AFUE rating. This rating shows what percentage of fuel a furnace can convert into heat. In a furnace with an 85% AFUE rating, for example, 85% of the fuel that is consumed is converted to heat, and the other 15% is lost. The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the furnace is.

To receive an Energy Star rating, a furnace in the northern region of the United States must have an AFUE rating of 95 percent. Along with having a properly sealed and insulated home, upgrading to an Energy Star-rated furnace can lead to great savings on your unit’s operating costs.

How to maximize the efficiency of your current natural gas furnace

To maximize the efficiency of your natural gas furnace, it takes more than properly installing a unit with a high-efficiency rating. You must also take good care of your furnace throughout its operating life. Three of the best ways you can do this are:

  • Change your filters regularly. By keeping up with your filter changes, you can avoid wasting energy when dirty air filters restrict the airflow to your unit.
  • Schedule annual maintenance. During annual maintenance, your furnace will get a full-system inspection and cleaning, bringing it up to maximum efficiency before every heating season.
  • Use a programmable thermostat. When set correctly, programmable thermostats can put less strain on your furnace during the times of day that you don’t need as much heat in your home.

If you have any questions about the efficiency of your natural gas furnace, or if you’d like a heating system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly Heating & Air Conditioning, your St. Louis area heating and cooling company.

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