Furnaces have come a long way in the past 15 years. Systems that were once gas guzzlers have become vastly more efficient, saving you money on your heating bills.
Every furnace has a rating based on the unit’s annual fuel utilization efficiency, or AFUE. A furnace’s AFUE is the percentage of heat created compared to the amount of energy used.
Numbers that used to hover between 60 to 70 percent have become dramatically higher over the past decade. As of now, it is not uncommon to find new furnaces that break the 95 percent mark.
It is for this reason that high efficiency furnaces are a good investment. When a new furnace is properly sized for the area of your house, Your heating bills can drop in half, according to the Department of Energy, with a new furnace.
Here are some tips on deciding whether or not to upgrade to one of these new, high efficiency furnaces.
- What are the maintenance costs of your current system? As furnaces get older, they grow more likely to break. If repairing them grows daunting, a new low-maintenance furnace can be an option.
- Does your furnace have a pilot light? If you can see the flame in your furnace, you can see your fuel costs going up. Many new furnaces are designed without the constant fuel use of a pilot light. They use electrical ignition instead.
- Check the sizing on your furnace. Many old furnaces are oversized. This means that they are too big for the house where you need them and spend more energy than you need to. It also means they are more difficult to maintain. The Department of Energy has some guidelines about how your contractor should size your home.
Finding a contractor you can trust is the most important task when installing high efficiency furnaces.Energy costs are rising, but technology has found ways to help us save money. High efficiency furnaces are just one example. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the professionals at T.F. O’Brien. They are more than happy to help.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about high efficiency furnaces and other HVAC topics, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.