Tips for Buying a High-Efficiency Furnace

by Chris Long - August 8, 2017

A new furnace is much more efficient than they used to be.Are you considering buying a new furnace? Don’t wait until your existing one falls apart to start shopping for a new one.

Even if your older furnace is still functioning, it’s likely to be extremely inefficient when it comes to converting energy to heat, which may prompt you to buy a new furnace sooner than you thought.

Here are some things to consider as you shop for a high-efficiency furnace.

Most of your monthly energy bill comes from heating and cooling.Your heating bill

More than half of your home’s energy output comes from heating and cooling, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. If you can find a way to make your heating system more efficient, you can make a significant dent in your energy bill.

The cost of an obsolete furnace

If you have a furnace installed before 1992, chances are it is obsolete. That was the year the Department of Energy set up new standards for manufacturers, requiring furnaces to turn at least 78 percent of fuel into heat. In 2013, that standard went up to 80 percent, but now high-quality furnace models reach up to 98 percent efficiency.

So, what do those numbers mean? If you have an older furnace, over 20 percent of your yearly energy dollars are going to waste, while your furnace pumps carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere.

How old is my furnace?

If you’re not sure when your furnace was installed, look for dates inside the cabinet. You may have to write down a model number and search for it online. And if you can’t uncover the date of manufacture, that’s usually a good sign it’s time for a new furnace.

How is efficiency measured?

What does it mean to have a high-efficiency furnace? Simply put, the more heat your furnace can deliver with a given amount of energy, the better. Companies that manufacture furnaces aim to create appliances that burn fuel efficiently while requiring the least energy possible.

New furnaces are posted with an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating (or AFUE), which you can typically find on a yellow “EnergyGuide” label. It is required by the Federal Trade Commission. As we mentioned above, AFUE ratings range from a minimum of 80 percent to 98.5 percent.

American Standard platinum 95 furnace is a high-efficiency furnace.How does this translate into savings?

Think of it like this: With a high-efficiency furnace, 98 cents out of every dollar you spend on energy to heat your home is converted to heat. With a lower-efficiency furnace, you’d be giving away 20 cents, if not more. And this is before you consider the heat loss from home’s your ductwork.

What else should I consider?

While efficiency is a crucial factor when choosing a new furnace, there are some other things to consider:

  • Cost of repairs vs. replacement – The national average cost of a new furnace is around $4,000, but can run as high as $5,800. Ask yourself if repairing the furnace would cost more than a third of what you’d spend to buy a new system.
  • Fuel sources – Furnaces are typically heated by oil, gas or electricity. Gas furnaces are the most cost-effective way to heat your home in very cold temperatures. Oil is powerful, but requires more storage and costs more.
  • Rebates – You may be eligible for certain rebates if you invest in a high-efficiency furnace. Be sure to read our blog post from earlier this year to learn more.

If you’ve decided to install a new furnace in your home, All Seasons Comfort Control can help. For more than 15 years, we’ve helped homeowners in the Bucks County area heat and cool their homes.

Contact Us to Learn about our High-efficiency Furnace Options

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