February 16, 2018
During the frigid months of winter, heating typically accounts for more than half of your monthly utility expenses. Since your furnace needs to constantly run, it consumes more energy and its parts are will inevitably fail.
If you have an older, low or mid-efficiency furnace, you have been spending too much to heat your home. Not only does an old, inefficient heating system burns more fuel, it also causes temperature and comfort issues.
Furnaces are never built to last forever. At some point, your unit will show signs of decline in performance and will cause you to spend more to maintain it. If you have been using your furnace for the last 15 years, you may notice a rise in your heating bills and more frequent need for repairs.
Thankfully, new and advanced furnaces utilize more efficient technologies to provide your home with ultimate comfort at minimal operating costs.
Bratcher Heating and Air Conditioning is a leading heating company in Peoria, IL that offers high-efficiency furnaces engineered to address the issues associated with older furnaces such as high fuel consumption and poor performance.
Understanding the Efficiency Ratings of Furnaces
A furnace’s efficiency is measured by annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). AFUE is a measure of how efficient the appliance is in converting energy in its fuel to heat over the course of a typical year. Particularly, AFUE is the ratio of annual heat output of the furnace compared to the total annual fossil fuel energy it consumed.
For example, a furnace with 95% AFUE means that 95% of the energy in the fuel becomes heat for the home and the remaining 5% escapes up the chimney and elsewhere.
The Federal Trade Commission demands manufacturers to display their AFUE on their furnaces so consumers can compare heating efficiencies of different models.
Why Upgrade to a High-Efficiency Furnace
Because of the many conveniences they offer, high-efficiency furnaces are recommended not only by professionals, but the U.S. government itself, which particularly offers a federal tax credit of up to 30 percent, or up to $1500 if you invest in a high-efficiency furnace for your home.
Most high-efficiency furnaces have the ENERGY STAR® label. These products are the same or better than standard products, only they use less fuel. To qualify for ENERGY STAR’s seal of approval, furnaces must meet strict energy efficiency criteria set by the US Environmental Protection Agency or the US Department of Energy. Since they use less energy, these products save you money on your electricity bill and help protect the environment by reducing your carbon footprint.
Benefits of High-Efficiency Furnaces
While conventional furnace blowers typically operate at full speed, high-efficiency furnaces utilize variable-speed blowers that maximize fuel savings. These blowers provide more comfortable heating by adjusting the airflow speed to meet real-time heating needs.
High-efficiency furnaces use outside air for combustion, not air inside your home. This prevents furnace damage caused by vapors from laundry products, which can corrode furnace components.
Condensing furnaces use an electronic ignition system that has been proven safe and reliable compared to old furnaces that utilize standing pilot light. This ignition system only uses heat when the furnace calls for heat.
Maximum Energy Efficiency
High-efficiency furnaces use a second heat exchanger to catch much of the heat that would normally float up the chimney.
Blower compartments on high-efficiency furnaces are usually insulated to preserve heat. Traditional heating systems normally are not insulated.
Compared to older, low-efficiency models, condensing furnaces have a minimum efficiency rating of 90 percent AFUE that can save you hundreds of dollars in heating costs per year, depending on your usage.
Certain high-efficiency furnaces also reduce electricity consumption by pairing an advanced, programmable thermostat to a variable speed motor. This enables the system to run the blower for longer periods of time at lower speeds. It provides quieter and more even and comfortable heat and doesn’t unnecessarily consume electricity.
High-Efficiency Heating with Bratcher Heating and Air Conditioning
In response to rising fuel and repair costs, a high-efficiency furnace can be a wise choice for your home. While investing in one may involve a higher initial cost, its fuel efficiency will help you save hundreds of dollars in heating costs per year.
For more information about high-efficiency or condensing furnaces, call Bratcher Heating and Air Conditioning. We are the trusted Peoria furnace replacement and repair contractor since 1983.