Installing a high-efficiency heating system in your Cleveland, Ohio, area home is a great way to keep winter heating costs low. However, high-efficiency systems don't operate in isolation; all of the systems in your home work together. That's why it's necessary to use a whole-house approach to get your furnace working at peak capacity.
When looking for the right heating system that will provide maximum efficiency, investigate the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. High-efficiency systems begin at 90 AFUE. AFUE ratings indicate the percentage of energy that a furnace will generate into heated air, and the remainder is typically lost through the chimney or other air leaks. However, these ratings don't take into account heating losses caused by these and other factors, like faulty ductwork.
Therefore, a large part a system's efficiency depends on how well the system is matched with other components, including:
The Home's Seal
Proper sealing of any leaks includes caulking around windows, doors, and chimney, as well as electrical outlets and lighting fixtures. Expanding foam spray can be used for larger gaps.
Ductwork And Airflow
Ductwork is critical to the process of delivering conditioned air. Ensuring that there is a proper balance of airflow involves complicated calculations and a high level of expertise. A contractor should ensure that the right amount of airflow is coming from the supply and return registers in each room, but an in-depth balancing will take into consideration all aspects of the HVAC system, including:
- Appropriately sealed and insulated air ducts.
- Registers and properly positioned dampers.
- Unit design and efficiency rating.
- Adequate ventilation and exhaust openings.
A home's design factors should also be taken into account in order to get the best results. Unique architectural features such as vaulted ceilings and room sizes should be calculated, in addition to considering the amount of heat that is produced by major appliances. Additionally, insulation levels and heat gain from windows influence heating needs. These factors are instrumental in making certain that the unit will achieve maximum efficacy.
For existing homes, it is often a good idea to conduct a professional energy audit to gauge all of the above parameters and more.
Regardless of whether you require an energy audit, installation or repair of your HVAC, at P.K. Wadsworth, we always use a whole-home approach. Feel free to contact us with your questions.