In The Muppet Movie, Kermit the Frog sang “It’s Not That Easy Being Green”, but actually, with all the new environmentally friendly products on the market today, it’s really not that hard anymore. Thanks to technology, a higher consumer awareness, and our government’s dedication to cleaning up the environment, new heating and cooling products exist that make our lives better while simultaneously helping the environment.
The AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) is a unit that determines the percentage of fuel turned into heat, and the amount of gas that has been exhausted through the flue. This is the unit of measurement used by the industry to determine energy efficiency. Older furnace models made in the 1970s will typically have a rating of 65% efficiency. Today’s furnaces must have a rating of at least 78%, but some have a rating of 90 – 98% AFUE, meaning that 90-98% of the fuel is utilized, while only 5 – 10% is exhaust. The higher the AFUE, the higher the efficiency of the furnace. High-efficiency furnaces do cost more initially, but the savings is usually recouped in energy savings if you stay in your home for five to 10 years. Going from a traditional furnace to a high-efficiency furnace (90% plus) should save you between 25% and 30% of your current heating costs.
High-Efficiency Air Conditioners
High-efficiency air conditioners make cooling your home more energy efficient as well. Energy Star qualified central air conditioners have higher seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) and energy efficiency ratio (EER) ratings, which makes them about 14% more efficient than standard models. The Energy Star website says that if your air conditioner is more than 12 years old, replacing it with an Energy Star qualified model could reduce your cooling costs by 30%. Plus, the refrigerant R-22 (commonly known as Freon) has been banned from production by the government and replaced with more environmentally friendly refrigerants. Newer air conditioners are designed to use the new, eco-friendly refrigerant.
These little gems are a super easy way to save money on your air conditioning and heating bills on top of the savings you’ll see with more efficient furnaces and air conditioners. They make controlling your home’s temperature easy and convenient and also reduce energy consumption which is good for the environment. According to the Energy Star website, you can save about $180 a year by properly setting your programmable thermostat and maintaining those settings.
Save Energy and Money
Imagine reducing your South Bend heating and cooling bills by 25%-30%. That would mean energy savings year round. While the initial cost of these high-efficiency systems is higher than lower efficiency models, you can get that money back in lower heating and air conditioning bills every month after for as long as you live in your home. It’s nice to know you can save some green while you’re being green. For more information on high-efficiency furnaces and air conditioners, give us a call. One of our Home Comfort Experts technicians can help you learn more.