There are actually two price tags on every new furnace. One is the dealer’s upfront sticker price. The other is the amount of energy the furnace consumes to produce heat. A furnace that uses fuel more efficiently will start saving money from day one and return your investment quicker. Fortunately, that “other” price tag is conspicuously displayed as the bright yellow EnergyGuide label that shows the new unit’s annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) percentage. Here’s what the AFUE can tell you when considering a new furnace:
- The AFUE expresses what percentage of fuel entering the furnace is actually converted into heat. The remaining percentage is the fuel that is lost due to inefficiency of the combustion process and does not produce heat. The higher the AFUE percentage, the more efficient the furnace.
- Many older, existing furnaces installed in homes have an AFUE rating ranging from 68 to 72 percent.
- Today’s standard efficiency new furnaces have an AFUE of at least 78 percent and generally range up to 89 percent. In these units, fan-induced combustion and electronic ignition are common. They generally are more compact and lighter weight and require a smaller diameter flue pipe than older units.
- High-efficiency furnaces have AFUE 90 percent and above. These are known as condensing units, which utilize a second heat exchanger to exploit heat produced by the condensing process after combustion. This is heat normally lost in standard efficiency furnaces. High-efficiency units also have completely sealed combustion chambers that draw air solely from outdoors for combustion.
Upgrading from an existing older generation furnace to a new high-efficiency furnace with an AFUE of 90 percent or more will save you up to 40 percent on heating costs. In most areas of the country, the steeper initial purchase price of the high-efficiency unit will be paid back in about three years.
For 42 years, Mowery Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing has provided the total indoor weather solution to Indianapolis area homeowners. When you’re ready to upgrade to a new furnace, let us explain the benefits of high-efficiency heating in your home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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