A Buyer’s Guide To Energy-Efficient Furnaces

energy-efficient furnaces, Long Island, New YorkAs another Long Island winter approaches, considering an upgrade to an energy-efficient furnace makes sense. New high-efficiency furnaces with Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings of at least 90 percent really shine in these cold winters.

More effective comfort, greater utility savings and quicker payback on the up-front investment are additional benefits of an upgrade. A lot of the technology that’s standard on today’s energy-efficient furnaces may not have existed when your current unit was manufactured.

Here are some of the other advantages you can look forward to:

Flexible airflow

Your existing furnace probably has just two fan speeds: on and off. This all-or-nothing approach alternates between a continuous blast of hot air and periods of no heat when rooms may rapidly chill. The absence of circulating air also allows heated air to accumulate in a layer at the ceiling where it contributes nothing to room warmth. High-efficiency furnaces utilize a variable-speed blower that runs continuously at varying output, according to the heating load. This provides more consistent warmth and prevents stratification of hot air at the ceiling.

Multi-stage heating
Standard-efficiency furnaces fire at 100 percent at all times — even though the heating load often doesn’t require total output. This action wastes energy and increases on/off cycles of the furnace. Higher-efficiency furnaces incorporate multistage burners that continuously adjust output to accommodate the heating load. You get just the heat you need, when you need it, but always have reserve output available during really frigid weather.

Better humidification
A standard furnace draws humidified interior air into the combustion chamber. As this air is burned and water vapor is exhausted through the vent, it’s replaced by dry outdoor winter air infiltrating the house. As a result, this process often reduces household relative humidity below the 35 percent recommended minimum. Furnaces with an AFUE over 90 percent have sealed combustion chambers and draw all combustion air from outside. No indoor air is burned, so relative humidity levels are unaffected.

Long Island’s best since 1934, T. F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating is your local source of interior comfort. Ask us about more of the benefits of upgrading to an energy-efficient furnace.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).   For more information about other HVAC topics,  download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image via  Shutterstock.com