Updating furnace filter
If you are interested in electric heating, consider installing a heat pump system. You can identify and compare a system's efficiency by not only its AFUE but also by its equipment features.Old, low-efficiency heating systems: Furnaces and boilers can be retrofitted to increase their efficiency.AFUE is a measure of how efficient the appliance is in converting the energy in its fuel to heat over the course of a typical year.Specifically, AFUE is the ratio of annual heat output of the furnace or boiler compared to the total annual fossil fuel energy consumed by a furnace or boiler.Or, if you're in a more remote area or less occupied home (like a vacation home) and there are fewer cars around, annually may be often enough. Steam is distributed via pipes to steam radiators, and hot water can be distributed via baseboard radiators or radiant floor systems, or can heat air via a coil.Specify a sealed combustion furnace or boiler, which will bring outside air directly into the burner and exhaust flue gases (combustion products) directly to the outside, without the need for a draft hood or damper.
Furnaces heat air and distribute the heated air through the house using ducts.
Upgrading your furnace or boiler from 56% to 90% efficiency in an average cold-climate house will save 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year if you heat with gas, or 2.5 tons if you heat with oil.
If your furnace or boiler is old, worn out, inefficient, or significantly oversized, the simplest solution is to replace it with a modern high-efficiency model.
Steam boilers operate at a higher temperature than hot water boilers, and are inherently less efficient, but high-efficiency versions of all types of furnaces and boilers are currently available.
To learn more about furnaces, boilers and other types of home heating systems, explore our Energy Saver 101 infographic on home heating.