Learning About Residential Furnaces

Buying A New Furnace? How To Understand Efficiency Ratings

New furnaces are much more efficient than older ones, and higher efficiency in a furnace makes it cost less to operate. This is one of the reasons many people upgrade their furnaces before their old furnaces actually stop working. If you are tired of sky-high energy bills, it might be time to you to upgrade too. Before you do this, it is important to understand what furnace efficiency ratings mean so you can choose the best furnace for your needs.

How Is Efficiency Measured?

All new furnaces come with efficiency ratings on them. The ratings are measured in terms of Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). AFUE basically tells you how much fuel the furnace converts into heat. The ratings run from 80% to 98.5%, and higher ratings stand for higher efficiency.

For example, a furnace with an 80% AFUE turns 80% of the fuel it burns into heat. A furnace with a 98.5% rating turns 98.5% of the fuel it burns into heat. As you can see, higher ratings represent furnaces that operate more efficiently.

Are Older Furnaces Efficient?

One of the problems with older furnaces is that they are not as efficient as newer models. The furnace you have right now may have a rating of less than 80%. If so, your furnace is burning way more fuel than it uses for heating your home. If this is the case, you are spending a lot more money on energy costs than you should be.

Some older furnaces have ratings of around 50%. If your furnace has a low rating or if it is over 20 years old, it might be time to replace it. By replacing your old furnace with a new one, you will save money on heating costs.

Do Ratings Affect Price?

The reason most people do not purchase furnaces with a 98.5% AFUE rating is due to price. As the efficiency ratings increase on furnaces, the prices do too. Buying a furnace with the highest rating will result in spending the most money upfront. The good news is that this furnace will help you save money over its lifetime; however, the upfront cost of the furnace might be more than you can afford.

Updating your furnace is a smart move to make. It will help you save money, and it will also reduce the amount of energy your home uses. If you would like to learn more about high-efficiency furnaces, contact an HVAC company like Home Comfort Systems.


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