It is quite normal for your furnace to run 24/7, especially during the coldest months of winter. This extended use of your heating system typically accounts for more than half of your monthly utility bills. If you have one of those older, low-efficiency furnaces, you probably are spending more on home heating than you should. That’s because old, inefficient furnaces burn more fuel and cost more to operate, let alone to repair.
Even if your furnace has been serving you well over the years, the truth is that there will come a time for it to retire. As your furnace goes older, it gradually loses its efficiency, which compromises your comfort and increases your monthly utility expenses.
If your heating system shows a noticeable decline in performance, you might need to start looking for a new furnace. The good news is that newer furnace models offer several advantages over their old counterparts. You might want to look at high-efficiency furnaces which provide maximum comfort at minimal operational costs.
Kettle Moraine Heating and Air Conditioning, your preferred Southeastern Wisconsin dealer carries some of the most advanced and energy-efficient furnaces on the market.
The efficiency of a furnace is measured by its Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. It measures the amount of heat actually delivered to your home compared to the amount of fuel the furnace consumes. To put it simply, a furnace that has an efficiency rating of 80 percent AFUE converts 80 percent of the fuel into heat while the remaining 20 percent goes out the chimney or elsewhere.
A furnace is considered high-efficiency if it has an AFUE of at least 90 percent. These furnaces are also called “condensing furnaces”. They use a second heat exchanger that extracts heat from the exhaust gases that would otherwise be wasted.
Reasons to Upgrade to a High-Efficiency Furnace
Most high-efficiency furnaces have the ENERGY STAR® label. These furnaces are the same or better than standard heating systems, only they use less energy. To earn the ENERGY STAR label, 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 causing fewer harmful emissions from power plants; and you get the features and quality you expect.
Condensing furnaces are also safer since they utilize a sealed combustion system. The combustion chambers, supply lines, and flues are sealed from the inside of homes which prevents any leakage of exhaust gases.
Many states and electric companies offer rebates or other incentives for the purchase and installation of ENERGY STAR-certified furnaces.
Advantages of High-Efficiency Furnaces:
While it is true that investing in a high-efficiency furnace involves a higher upfront cost, its low energy consumption will allow the furnace to pay for itself after a few years. Properly sealing your home and weather-stripping doors and windows can result in additional savings. Also, regular professional maintenance is necessary to maintain the furnace’s peak performance.
High-efficiency furnaces use a variable speed motor, which creates a more consistent heating throughout your home. Not only will you experience greater comfort, you will also be breathing cleaner, healthier air. These furnaces use advanced filtration systems that remove mold, dust, dirt, and other particles that could trigger allergies or other irritations.
Condensing furnaces have a built-in system that eliminates moisture inside the heat exchanger and are tested to endure chemical buildup. These products also have a more economical on and off cycling system so they last longer, if properly maintained.
Newer furnaces typically operate with low noise compared to older models. Most high-efficiency furnaces are equipped with sound-absorbing materials that further minimize operational sound.
Dependable Warranty Program
If your furnace ever fails, its warranty can help you cover the cost of repair and replacement of broken parts. Though warranty on your furnace will vary according to the manufacturer and dealer, choosing a high-efficiency unit will give you a longer warranty period compared to a cheaper model. With a condensing furnace, it is especially important to have a long-term warranty on the heat exchangers.
Certain manufacturers cover their furnaces with a 5-year warranty on covered parts, 10-years if the product is registered online, and a lifetime warranty on the heat exchanger.
Ask the Heating Pros
For more information on high-efficiency furnaces, call Kettle Moraine Heating and Air Conditioning. We are a Lennox Premier Dealer that offers a wide variety of condensing furnaces and even the most advanced models on the market.
Contact us for your furnace installation, repair, or other HVAC needs.