An Efficient Furnace Is a Good Thing, but How Efficient Does Yours Need to Be?

An Efficient Furnace Is a Good Thing, but How Efficient Does Yours Need to Be?

An Efficient Furnace Is a Good Thing, but How Efficient Does Yours Need to Be?Before you replace your old furnace, you should learn how energy efficiency should influence your decision. How efficiently your furnace burns fuel and delivers heat to your home has a direct connection to long-term operating expenses.

How to Compare Efficiencies

The most important number for a new gas- or oil-burning furnace is its annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. The AFUE measures how much of the fuel gets converted into heat in a furnace.

The current minimum AFUE for a new residential gas furnace is 78 percent, which means 22 percent of the fuel doesn’t get turned into heat; rather, it goes up the chimney. High-efficiency furnaces run AFUE 90-98 percent. These are condensing furnaces that use two heat exchangers to maximize heat extraction from both the fuel and combustion exhaust.

High-efficiency furnaces are great for energy conservation and savings on utility bills, but they cost much more to purchase. You’ll want to consider a variety of factors when choosing the efficiency level of our new furnace, and then get advice from a trusted HVAC technician.

To get a feel for what range of efficiency will suit your house best, consider these factors:

  • Your home’s insulation and airtightness (in other words, efficiency): If your home is tightly sealed and properly insulated, you won’t have to run your furnace as often, which will reduce monthly savings from a high-efficiency furnace.
  • Utility costs: If your natural gas, propane or heating oil is especially costly, a high-efficiency furnace makes more sense, since it uses less fuel.
  • Expected use: If you find that you run your furnace a lot over the course of the winter, a more efficient furnace will save you a substantial amount. This, of course, is related to climate. In Georgia, you’ll use your furnace a lot less than if you lived farther north, so opting for a standard-efficiency furnace might make the most sense.

To get a clear picture of which furnace model is best for your Peachtree City area home, please contact us at Powers Heating & Air.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

1 Comment

  1. […] to make the most money will insist you buy the most efficient option available, which is about 98 Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). A reputable contractor will explain that, because you live in a warm climate and rely more on […]

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