Rising energy bills and concern for our environment have made home energy efficiency a hot topic in recent years. Homeowners are now making a greater effort to spend less on energy and reduce pollution, often starting with their old and inefficient furnaces.
High efficiency furnaces are more than just a replacement for your old furnace. Almost 35 million homes in America are heated by natural gas–fired, forced-air heating systems, and most of these conventional forced-air furnaces are pretty inefficient. If your home is heated with a low-efficiency furnace, you could be sending up to 30 percent of your fuel– and your energy dollars– up the chimney.
This not only wastes money, it pumps up to 4 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. In order to reduce this waste and pollution, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) mandated new standards in 1992 that require every new furnace to be at least 78 percent efficient. Manufacturers started designing models that meet and often exceed this standard.
How do you know if a furnace is high-efficiency? Furnace efficiency is measured with an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. The DOE considers units with an EVE higher than 90 percent as high efficiency. In a nutshell, high efficiency furnaces have:
- Condensing flue gases in a second heat exchanger for extra efficiency
- Sealed combustion
- 90 to 97 percent AFUE
We suggest that you use the yellow Energy Guides, located on the furnace, to compare estimated annual operating costs for furnaces given specific conditions. It is important to remember that the heating system is just one component in many i.e. your existing duct system, your system controls, your insulation levels, the construction of your home, etc. that determines your actual savings. If you want to figure the actual payback, let a professional from P.K. Wadsworth assist you. We can help you determine how long it will take to get back your initial investment.
When it comes to getting more for your energy dollars, reducing waste and pollution–and lowering energy bills–there’s almost nothing you can do that will make a bigger impact than replacing your low-efficiency furnace with an energy-efficient model. It will pay for itself over time and can dramatically improve your home comfort, as well. Call us at P.K. Wadsworth to learn more about the benefits of high-efficiency furnaces!
PK Wadsworth services the Greater Cleveland, OH area including cities Chagrin Falls, Shaker Heights, Eastlake or anywhere in between. To get started, check out our website.