Not all furnaces are created equal. They all do the same job–heating the air in your home–but some furnaces require less fuel than others to produce that heat. These high efficiency furnaces save you money on utility bills, but they generally have a higher initial price tag. So, how can you know if they are worth the investment?
Thankfully, there are some free tools you can use to compare your furnace options, and determine how much that high efficiency furnaces can save you in the long run.
Furnace efficiency is measured in annual fuel utilization efficiency. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the furnace is. Some older furnaces have an AFUE of 60 percent or less, meaning that 60 percent of the heat from the fuel is utilized to warm your home, while the other 40 percent is lost to the outside air. New furnaces are required to have an AFUE of at least 78 percent, but some high efficiency furnaces have AFUE ratings as high as 97 percent.
That’s a significant difference. If your 78 percent AFUE furnace uses 100 therms of gas to heat your home, a 97 percent AFUE furnace would provide the same amount of heat using less than 81 therms of gas–saving you almost 20 percent on your heating bill.
To look at some specific numbers for your home, you can download this free cost calculator worksheet from the EnergyStar website. Simply plug in the information for your own home, and it will automatically calculate the savings. For example, with all else remaining equal, a 2,500-square-foot home in Fort Bend would save approximately $117 per year by using a 90 percent AFUE gas furnace instead of a 78 percent AFUE gas furnace. Even after considering the higher initial cost, that still saves the homeowner more than $1,000 over the lifetime of the furnace. Burning less gas would also reduce CO2 pollution by about 18,500 pounds, which is the equivalent of planting two new acres of forest land.
That is an investment that pays off, not only for you, but for everyone. To find out which specific high efficiency furnaces would work best for your home, call the professionals at Home Comfort Experts today. We’re happy to help.
Home Comfort services the Mishawaka/South Bend areas of Indiana.