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How Important Is Energy Efficiency for a New Furnace?


Autumn is one of the best times of the year to look for a new furnace for your home if you know your old one is ready to retire. You’ll have time to find the best possible heating installation in Greenville, SC before the serious cold sets in. You’ll be able to take stock of the different options available so you’ll end up with the ideal new heating system to work for your family for many winters to come.

An important part of furnace shopping is energy efficiency. Today’s HVAC market includes furnaces with high-efficiency ratings that promise large savings over their lifetimes. But just how important is furnace efficiency when you’re trying to find your perfect new heating system? We’ll look further into the efficiency question below.

Understanding AFUE

First, you need to know how furnace efficiency is measured. The standard for both natural gas and electric furnaces is the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. This is a percentage that tells you how much of a furnace’s energy source gets converted into heating. For example, a mid-efficiency furnace with 85% AFUE turns 85% of the natural gas it burns into heat energy for a home, with 15% is lost through exhaust. 

Note: All electric furnaces have 100% AFUE because they don’t burn heating oil but directly heat the air through electric resistance heating. This doesn’t mean an electric furnace will cost less to run, however, because the cost of electricity may be higher than natural gas in your area.

Does High-Efficiency Guarantee Energy Savings?

No, it does not—and this is a crucial factor to remember when you’re looking for a new furnace. A furnace’s efficiency rating is its maximum efficiency performance, but not the efficiency it will always work at. If a furnace isn’t sized correctly for a house or is not the right type for a home’s needs, the efficiency rating won’t mean much: the furnace will still use more power than necessary. You could end up with a furnace that costs more to purchase and then doesn’t meet its promise of saving money.

High-Efficiency Furnace Cost Vs Long-Term Savings

If you work with HVAC professionals to find and size your new furnace, you’ll be on much safer ground when it comes to getting a high-efficiency system that will save money. If you’re upgrading from a mid-efficiency furnace with 85% AFUE to a high-efficiency condensing furnace with 95% AFUE, you can expect to see significant savings over the lifetime of the furnace (again, provided professionals helped to select and install it). However, any high-efficiency furnace comes with a higher initial purchase price. You’ll have to weigh that initial investment against long-term savings. Our technicians can help you determine if this is worth it.

Other Benefits

High-efficiency furnaces have other advantages aside from lower energy costs. They create more even heating with fewer temperature fluctuations, won’t cause the air in the house to dry out, and are better for the environment. These are all factors to consider when thinking about whether you want to invest in this technology. 

When you need a great new heating system, look to Carolina Climate Control. The Moose Is Loose in Your Neighborhood!

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