What to Look for in an Energy Efficient Furnace
No matter where you live or what kind of home you own, energy efficiency is critically important. Replacing your old inefficient appliances with newer and more energy efficient models can sharply reduce your heating and cooling costs, while keeping your home comfortable all year long.
When it comes to energy efficiency, the efficiency of your furnace is absolutely critical. Swapping out your old incandescent light bulbs for new LED bulbs may save you a couple of bucks, but upgrading your furnace could save you thousands in your home heating costs.
When it comes time to buy that energy efficient furnace, there are a number of things to look for. Not all furnaces are the same, and knowing what to look for will help you get the most for your money.
New high efficiency furnaces can be as much as 36% more efficient on gas and 70% more efficient on electricity and that can add up to real savings going forward.
Just think about how much you’ve spent to heat your home last year, then consider the savings a new high efficiency furnace could bring you in the coming years!
What is a High Efficiency Furnace?
The efficiency of a furnace is measured by its annual fuel utilization efficiency rating (AFUE). The FTC now requires that all new furnaces display their AFUE, making it easier for consumers to shop around and get the best value for their money.
The AFUE rating of a high efficiency furnace is impacted by a number of factors, including the type of fuel it uses. An all-electric furnace may have an efficiency rating of 95% or even 100%, while a gas-powered furnace may have an AFUE rating of 85% or 98%. Either way, the higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the heating system will be.
What Fuel Source is the Most Efficient?
There is no one answer to which fuel source is the most efficient, and sometimes it boils down to the type of heating system you already have in place. Changing fuel sources can be expensive, but the gain in efficiency, from 60%-96% would pay off in the long run.
ENERGY STAR - What Is It and What Does It Mean?
If you have been shopping for new appliances, you may have noticed the Energy Star rating. But what is this rating, and what does it mean to you as a homeowner?
The Energy Star rating comes courtesy of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This voluntary program helps businesses and individuals protect the environment and save money at the same time. Appliances that carry the Energy Star rating have been certified for their superior energy efficiency, and that can mean significantly lower costs month after month.
What is a BTU for Furnaces?
BTU stands for British thermal unit, and it is a measure of heat. The BTU is defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of a pound of water by one-degree Fahrenheit. As you shop for new energy efficient furnaces, you will see their heating power measured in terms of BTU.
No matter what part of Wisconsin you call home, energy efficiency is very important. The winters are long and cold here, and having an energy efficient furnace can lower your heating costs significantly as you watch the savings add up month after month, year after year.
If you’re ready to make the switch to greater energy efficiency, Jackson Hardware Heating & Air Conditioning can help you do it. We are the area's leader in Lennox heating and cooling equipment, so you can buy with confidence and get expert assistance choosing the furnace that best meets the needs of your home and family.
Tips Before Purchasing a New High Efficiency Furnace
Buying a new furnace is a major commitment, and not a decision you want to rush into. Before you select a furnace, be sure to take these important factors into consideration:
- Furnace Size: A furnace that is too small for your home will have to work hard just to keep up, reducing its efficiency and needlessly costing you money. A furnace that is too large could mean spending more than you have to in upfront costs. Jackson Hardware Heating & Air Conditioning can help you choose the best furnace based on the size of your home and location of the unit. Just give us a call at (262) 677-3477 to discuss your options. We are available 24/7.
- Replace or buy new: If your furnace is at least 20 years old, it is probably nearing the end of its life. The average life expectancy of a home heating system is between 20 and 25 years, so replacement is probably in order. For newer furnaces, retrofitting is a viable option, and those changes can make the system more energy efficient.
- Noise level: No one likes a noisy furnace, so it is important to choose a model that runs quietly, as well as efficiently.
- Quality construction: The quality of the construction will influence everything from the life expectancy of your furnace to its energy efficiency, so choose your new heating system with care.
- Location of the furnace: Outside air will impact the efficiency of any furnace, so location is an important factor. Keeping the furnace away from exterior walls can improve its efficiency, but it is not always possible to relocate the unit. If the unit cannot be relocated, wrapping it well and insulating it properly can improve its efficiency and save you money.
- How much money you can save: To see how much money you could save, use this energy savings calculator.
Whether you live on a hill overlooking a lake in Wisconsin where the winter winds whip through your home, or you reside in a quiet neighborhood in the suburbs, choosing an energy efficient furnace can save you money and keep you warm and comfortable all winter long.
Knowing what to look for in a heating system is essential. We’ll help you choose a new furnace that is efficient, affordable and easy to use. For priority service or emergencies, you can reach us by calling (262) 677-3477. Our 24/7 services are available in Jackson, Grafton, Cedarburg, Mequon, West Bend and all of Washington and Ozaukee counties. Don’t forget to check out our online specials for the latest discounts available on heating products!