Your heating bill is bound to fluctuate from month to month, because your need for heating is going to be different from month to month. If your heating bill starts showing a consistent rise, however, then something is probably affecting the efficiency of your furnace. There are any number of reasons why your furnace could start becoming more expensive to run. In the interest of brevity, however, let’s focus on the top 3.
Your Ducts are Leaking
The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that forced air heating systems lose almost 30% of their heat on average to leaks in the ductwork. That’s a massive amount of wasted heat, almost a third of your furnace’s total heat output. Leaks in the ductwork of a home are often small, but if there are enough of them the impact can be quite large. If you haven’t had your ducts cleaned or sealed in a while, there’s a very good chance that you are paying for heat that is never actually making it to its destination.
It’s the Wrong Size
Properly sizing your furnace is extremely important when you first start shopping for one. If you install a furnace that is either too big or two small, you open yourself to issues that you wouldn’t have had to deal with otherwise.
An oversized furnace has a tendency to provoke short-cycling. That is, it trips the safety switch for an emergency shutoff because its higher heat output makes the system think it’s overheating. This locks the furnace into a very rapid on/off cycle, where it never has the time to actually provide a steady stream of warm air before shutting down and starting up again. An undersized furnace, on the other hand, will simply stay on for a much longer period of time because it doesn’t have the heat output to heat the home properly.
It’s at the End of its Life
The last possibility is that, quite simply, your furnace is reaching the end of its lifespan. The longer a furnace operates, the less efficient it becomes at heating. This decline continues until the furnace finally gives out, and is often indicated by higher heat bills. If your furnace is over 15 years old, it might be time to replace it.
If you’d like to know more, call Design Comfort. We provide heating services throughout Salt Lake City.