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

do your homework - furnace replacement, Long Island, New YorkLooking 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 IslandIf 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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Shopping For A Furnace? Take A Look At These High-Performance Features

shopping for a furnace, Long Island, New YorkToday’s premium furnaces offer a wealth of useful innovations. Among models in a similar price bracket and with a similar Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE), it’s the features and extras that create a stand-out product. Knowing which high-performance enhancements to look for can mean the difference between an acceptable purchase and a great one. Continue reading “Shopping For A Furnace? Take A Look At These High-Performance Features”

You’ll Know If It’s Time To Repair Your Furnace When You Learn What To Look And Listen For

furnace repair signals to look forYour furnace is bound to get a workout as it keeps you warm through the cold Long Island winters, so now is the time to queue your ears and eyes to signs of trouble to keep it in good working order. Continue reading “You’ll Know If It’s Time To Repair Your Furnace When You Learn What To Look And Listen For”

Unexpected Heating Equipment Failure? Not Sure What To Do? Use T.F. O’Brien’s Replacement Steps

heating equipment replacement guide Long Island, NY areaIf your heating equipment suddenly stopped working during a cold Long Island winter, would you know what to do? A good heating and cooling contractor can help you explore your options. Use T.F. O’Brien’s furnace replacement guide to get started, and then give us a call. Continue reading “Unexpected Heating Equipment Failure? Not Sure What To Do? Use T.F. O’Brien’s Replacement Steps”

Do You Know How Lifetime Costs Impact Your Heating System Purchase?

lifetime costs for HVAC equipment Long Island, NY areaWhen purchasing a major appliance, such as a heating system, there are upfront costs and there are lifetime costs to consider. Upfront costs are the price of the equipment along with installation. Lifetime costs involve both upfront costs and the costs to maintain the equipment, fuel costs and other factors. Continue reading “Do You Know How Lifetime Costs Impact Your Heating System Purchase?”

High Efficiency Furnaces More Than Just a New Model

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.

T.F. O’Brien services the Long Island, New York area.  To get started, get a quote from us or check out our special offers.

Condensate Pumps are a Good Choice for High Efficiency Furnaces

When we talk about furnaces, which is apt to happen this time of year, you hear the word “efficiency” a lot.  The value of having and maintaining  high efficiency  furnaces is clear; they function longer and cost less.

However, even the highest  efficiency furnace  comes with the same potential issue  many heating and cooling mechanisms  have: how to manage  the excess water that results from  normal furnace operation. As water continues to rise and  fill the pan, it doesn’t take long to realize this could really cause problems for the furnace, and  the home.

A few  options:

  • Purchase a high efficiency furnace with a built-in condensate pump
  • Continue using tubes and hoses to drain excess water
  • Purchase and install a condensate pump

Purchasing a new furnace can be  costly and unnecessary if excess water is your sole concern. Getting rid of the tubes and hoses is always a good idea, of course.

So, that leaves us with installing a condensate pump as the better option. Condensate pumps are used to effectively direct and remove excess water from  high efficiency furnaces (as well as humidifiers and A/C units). The pump takes the place of hoses that can and do rupture, and  seamlessly transfers water to the appropriate drainage pipe.

The decision is yours to make, but the professionals at  T.F. O’Brien are happy to offer expert advice or answer questions. Ensuring  proper water drainage  for high efficiency furnaces is good for your furnace, and good for your home.

T.F. O’Brien services the Long Island, New York area.

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

Save this Winter with a High Efficiency Furnace

Winter is almost here and so are your heating bills. Unfortunately, your heating bills can take quite a chunk out of your finances. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the majority of your energy bills are spent on heating your home. Given this statistic, it makes sense that you would want save money on your heating bills. But  can you?

Yes, you can—if you buy a high efficiency furnace.

Understanding the Efficiency Rating of High Efficiency Furnaces

Before you go shopping for a high efficiency furnace, you need to know the efficiency rating that all furnaces now display.

The efficiency rating of furnaces is called the AFUE which stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency. The AFUE measures how efficiently the unit uses its fuel during a typical year. It does this by calculating the total heat output of the furnace compared to the amount of energy the furnace consumed.

For instance, if you see a furnace with an AFUE of 90 percent, that means that 90 percent of the fuel’s energy becomes heat for the home and the remaining 10 percent of the energy escapes up the chimney or elsewhere. High efficiency furnaces with AFUE’s of 90 percent are highly efficient and, as such, will save you money on your heating bills.

Buying a High Efficiency Furnace

Finding a furnace’s AFUE rating is not difficult. By law, new furnaces must prominently display their AFUE. But there are a couple of facts that you should know:

  • The higher the AFUE, the more energy efficient the furnace is.
  • High efficiency furnaces (fossil-fueled) will have AFUEs of between 90 and 97 percent.
  • Mid efficiency gas furnaces will have AFUEs of between 80 and 85 percent.
  • The minimum allowable AFUE rating for a warm-air, fossil-fueled furnace today is 78.
  • Electric furnaces will have AFUEs of between 95 and 100 percent because no energy is lost up the chimney or flue. However, the skyrocketing cost of electricity may make an electric furnace a poor choice if you want to save money on your heating bills.
  • High efficiency gas furnaces are capable of using 30 percent less fuel than their older counterparts.

Buying high efficiency furnaces can save Long Island residents a lot of money on their heating bills. So, if you’re considering a replacement, consider a high efficiency furnace.   It will save you money now and into the future.

T.F. O’Brien services the Long Island, New York area.

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