4 Tips for Choosing an Energy-Efficient Furnace
Replacing a furnace isn’t fun, but it happens to every homeowner at some point. It is an opportunity to explore the best option for your family and invest in an energy-efficient furnace, taking advantage of the latest HVAC updates for more efficiency over standard models. An energy-efficient furnace may cost more upfront, but over time, it will save you more money on your energy bill. Here are four tips for choosing the best energy-efficient furnace for your home.
Pay attention to the AFUE rating (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency), which measures how efficiently a gas furnace converts fuel into energy. The more energy efficient a furnace is, the higher the AFUE rating will be, and the more you will save on your energy bill.
For example, a furnace with an AFUE rating of 85 means 85 percent of its fuel will be turned into useable heat to heat your home, and about 15 percent of its fuel is wasted or lost through the exhaust, air leaks, etc. The yellow Energy Guide label on the furnace will tell you the AFUE rating.
Size matters when it comes to your energy-efficient furnace. You don’t want an oversized furnace for your home because it could use more fuel than is really needed to heat your home. You also don’t want a furnace that is too small to heat your home because it will run constantly trying to warm up the entire house, and will work harder, running up your energy bill.
A properly-sized energy-efficient furnace will work much more efficiently to heat your home, not using too much fuel or running too much. It will help your energy bill and make your home less susceptible to uneven temperatures. (The size of your air conditioner matters too.)
Most energy-efficient furnaces offer sealed combustion. The furnace’s combustion chamber is where natural gas burns to create heat, and in order to do that, the furnace needs to mix air with the gas. A furnace featuring sealed combustion uses outside air for the combustion process, and it all takes place inside the equipment, sealing it off from the indoor air of your home.
Sealed combustion is better when it comes to performance (it is more efficient than non-sealed equipment that loses heat outside); comfort (it doesn’t take air from inside the house nor replaces it with cool air from outside); and safety (it doesn’t allow unhealthy exhaust gas to enter your home’s indoor air).
Energy-efficient furnaces are not cheap, so be sure to choose one that gives you a good warranty. You should clearly understand what the warranty covers and for how long.
To maximize your new furnace’s efficiency, check your home’s windows and doors for air leaks. Seal those off to help your furnace function better (and lower your heating bill as well). Caulking and weather-stripping are effective and simple DIY solutions for sealing leaks. And lastly, schedule an HVAC maintenance appointment to have the rest of your HVAC system cleaned and inspected for any issues that may interfere with your new energy-efficient furnace running smoothly.
For the latest list of the most energy-efficient furnaces, check out the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2017 list.
Call Stiles Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing today to help you select and install the most energy-efficient furnace for your home and your family’s comfort and wallet.