Is Your Heating System Burning Money?

The efficiency of your heating system is an important part of how you much money you spend every year on heating oil or propane. An inefficient heating system could cost you hundreds of dollars more a year than necessary.

The simplest way to maintain your heating system’s efficiency is to get your heating system cleaned every year.  When a certified heating technician comes to clean your system, he or she will check your system’s efficiency. Newer heating oil systems use about 85% of the oil supplied to heat your home. The remaining 15% is what is called “lost energy”.  Propane heating systems use about 94% of the propane supplied to heat your home and the remaining 6% is “lost energy” or potential heat that is “thrown away”.

A dirty furnace will increase the heat you lose – lowering your efficiency. This means you’ll need to buy more heating oil or propane gallons to make up for what it loses.

Be sure to schedule a cleaning with your heating provider. Pick a date on the calendar each year to remind yourself. And, while you’re doing so, ask a certified heating technician about some other efficiency-boosting opportunities:

  • Install a vent damper – A vent damper improves efficiency by preventing heat from escaping through the chimney by closing off your boiler’s vent when it isn’t firing. Not all boilers require a vent damper, so be sure to ask a certified heating technician what’s right for you.
  • Replace your heating system – Cleaning your heating system or installing a vent damper might not work if your furnace or boiler is simply too old and inefficient. In this case, you’ll have to seriously consider investing in a new heating system. A new high-efficiency furnace can save you hundreds of dollars on your heating bills over your old furnace. And, a new “low mass” boiler can save 30-40% of the gallons used by an old boiler with a 30 gallon water jacket.
  • Other considerations – although your heating system is a big factor in your heating costs, you should look into other energy saving ideas for your home.




U.S. Department of Energy – Oil-Fired Boilers and Furnaces

U.S. Department of Energy – Gas-Fired Boilers and Furnaces