High efficiency furnaces have become increasingly popular over the last several years. In response to steadily rising energy costs and increasing concern for the environment, many homeowners are upgrading their old furnaces to more energy-efficient models. It can be a smart move to consider, particularly if you have a furnace that is more than ten years old.
If your heating bills are increasing, yet your home is not as warm and comfortable as you would like, your furnace may need repair, or better yet, a replacement. If your old furnace is noisy, you may certainly want to consider a more efficient model. Routine maintenance is a must for any age model, but new technology has made it easier to save money and have better heating for your home.
Energy Star rates the fuel efficiency of furnaces with a system called the AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating. The U.S. Department of Energy created testing procedures that are used to determine how effectively a certain amount of fuel can be used to heat a home.
To use an analogy, it is much like miles to the gallon when considering the fuel efficiency of a vehicle. High efficiency furnaces will have an AFUE of 85% or more if it is an oil furnace, or 90% or higher if it is a gas furnace. This rating is the percentage of energy output that is actually converted into heat.
If you decide that it is time for a new furnace, make sure that you upgrade to a model with a better AFUE rating to save you the most money and to create the most comfortable home in the winter.
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, download our free Home Comfort Solutions Guide.