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).
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