Efficiency Standards for HVAC Equipment: Are They Going Up Soon?

Updates on New Standards for HVAC Equipment

In an effort to reduce energy consumption, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) worked with a group of utility and HVAC industry experts in 2009 to improve efficiency standards for HVAC equipment. The increased efficiency ratings were to go into place in 2013, but a court order delayed their implementation because the new increased efficiency standards for gas furnaces and boilers would cause financial harm to some homeowners. Continue reading “Efficiency Standards for HVAC Equipment: Are They Going Up Soon?”

Need a Furnace Replacement for Your New York Residence? Do Your Homework

do your homework - furnace replacement, Long Island, New YorkBuying a New Furnace is an Important Purchase


Looking for a furnace replacement could be one of the more demanding processes you go through as a homeowner, and it’s also an important one. Long Island winters are long and cold, and heating your home takes a substantial piece out of your budget.  Continue reading “Need a Furnace Replacement for Your New York Residence? Do Your Homework”

Determine Whether a Condensing Furnace Works for You

Happy Family Condensing Furnace Long IslandLearn How New Furnaces Can Save You Money


If you’re in the market for a new heating system for your Long Island home, consider a condensing furnace.

While furnaces older than 10 years have an annual fuel utilization efficiency, or AFUE, of only 65 percent at best, the new condensing furnaces on the market have an AFUE of more than 98 percent, meaning that at least 98 percent of the fuel used to operate the system is converted to heat for your home. The remaining 2 percent or less is vented outdoors.

So what makes a condensing furnace so fuel-efficient? It starts with a duel heat exchanger. In a conventional furnace, which has one fuel-driven heat exchanger, the exhaust gases left after heating the air are sent up the chimney. The condensing furnace features a secondary heat exchanger which recovers this exhaust and uses it to heat more air for your home, reducing waste and increasing the unit’s energy efficiency exponentially. The end result is considerable savings on your energy bills.

Condensing furnaces have other features that add to their efficiency, including:

  • Variable-speed blower motor – Conventional furnaces have two speeds: on and off. Condensing furnace blowers utilize varying speeds that change with your real-time heating needs. Lower speeds during warmer periods mean less electricity consumed and more comfortable temperatures in your home.
  • Electrically commutated motor (ECM) – Most standard furnaces utilize split-capacitor motors, which are tough but require a lot of electricity to operate. ECMs are not only quieter, but also use up to 75 percent less power.
  • Modulating gas valve – Unlike conventional furnaces in which the flow of fuel to the unit is constant, condensing furnaces modulate the consumption of fuel from 40 percent to 100 percent, depending on your heating needs. On warmer days, the furnace will automatically reduce the fuel used to heat your home.

For more expert advice about whether a condensing furnace is right for your home heating needs, please feel free to contact us at T. F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating. We’ve served Long Island for over 75 years with a high level of customer satisfaction.

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.

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Understand HVAC Efficiency Ratings To Get More Bang For Your Buck

hvac efficiency ratings, upgrade efficiency, Long Island, New YorkSave Money on Your Energy Bills by Learning About System Ratings


If the air conditioner or heat pump in your Long Island home is ready for a replacement or upgrade, understanding HVAC efficiency ratings terminology will help you get the best return on your investment.   Continue reading “Understand HVAC Efficiency Ratings To Get More Bang For Your Buck”

If Your Furnace Didn’t Perform To Expectation This Winter, Consider An Upgrade

furnace upgrade, Long Island, New YorkA New Furnace Installation Can Save You Money and Trouble

Did your furnace not perform as well this winter? Did you notice a difference in comfort from last season? It might be time for a furnace upgrade.   Continue reading “If Your Furnace Didn’t Perform To Expectation This Winter, Consider An Upgrade”

Boiler Efficiency: Discover How AFUE Impacts Savings

Industry Heating Ratings Can Help Optimize Energy Usage

In the current economy, being able to save some money on heating bills is a very attractive concept for most families. Unfortunately, most people don’t know much about their boilers, let alone how to save money on them. That’s where AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, can be a really big help. AFUE is the ratio of your heating appliance’s total heat output to the total amount of energy it consumes. Continue reading “Boiler Efficiency: Discover How AFUE Impacts Savings”