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How Can I Tell If My Heater Is Energy-Efficient?

October 19, 2021 | Blog

During a cold front, your main priority is probably being able to turn on your heater and hear that familiar rumble as warm air makes its way through the vents to your home. But being able to get warm air out of your heater isn’t the only thing you should worry about. Your heater efficiency can make a big difference in your energy consumption, monthly bills and system health. 

Southern Air Heating, Cooling & Plumbing knows just how impactful a furnace tune-up can be — especially to your home’s efficiency. If you’ve ever received preventative maintenance in Baton Rouge, you’re probably wondering how to tell if your heater is more efficient than it was before. Our team can help you compare your efficiency and plan to maintain that efficiency all year long.

Furnace Maintenance & Efficiency

One of the biggest benefits of scheduling a furnace tune-up is getting higher efficiency performance out of your heater. When your heating system is operating in peak condition, experiencing little to no repairs and being kept clean, it can function at a higher level. This means that the amount of energy or fuel your system needs to produce the temperature you desire is less. The less energy your home uses to produce the same results, the more efficient it is.

Measuring Efficiency

Luckily, efficiency isn’t just an average guess — it can be calculated! Any fuel-burning appliance will have a peak efficiency rating, including your heater. In fact, your heater’s maximum efficiency should be stated at the time of purchase inside the packaging or manual. The efficiency rating is called the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE).

For example, if your heater has a 96% AFUE rating, it uses 96% of the fuel and 4% is lost during the burning process. Between 80 and 85% efficiency is considered a mid-level heating system and a rating over 90% is considered high efficiency. 

Is My Heater Efficient?

There are several considerations to take into account besides your heater’s AFUE rating. If your heater is brand new, the AFUE will be accurate. However, there are some other important factors to think about if you’ve had your heater for a while.


Heaters are only meant to last about 10 to 15 years, and the system won’t run on peak efficiency that entire time. In fact, your heater can lose up to 5% of its efficiency every single year! Heater maintenance can delay this decline, but nothing can stop it entirely.

Energy Bill Changes

If you’re not sure about your heater’s efficiency, compare some of your bills during heater season. If you notice a significant difference even though you use the system relatively the same each year, you could be looking at a decrease in heater efficiency.

Ask A Pro

If you think your heater could be more efficient but you’re not sure how to get it there, consider asking the pros for recommendations. Scheduling seasonal HVAC maintenance is a prime opportunity to voice these concerns and have an expert at your disposal. Give our team a call today for all your efficiency concerns or to start a service request!

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