With prices up on everything from milk to shoes, it’s no wonder more homeowners are making the switch to high-efficiency systems to shrink their utility bills. Find out how high-efficiency furnaces can help you save on annual energy costs.
Heating your home accounts for 29% of your annual energy costs. Considering the average family spends over $4000 per year on utilities, taking steps to save where you can will make a big impact on your household’s bottom line.
Household energy consumption varies depending on where you live, how big your home is, how old your home is, and what kind of steps you currently take to cut costs. While there are many ways to save, one big way is by upgrading your home’s heating system in favor of modern, high-efficiency models.
How Does A High-Efficiency Furnace Work?
Without giving you an entire course in HVAC 101, here are the main differences between traditional and high-efficiency furnaces…
Your standard-efficiency central heating system works by pulling cold air into a heat exchanger making it hot and then blowing the hot air through the ductwork and into your home. Oftentimes, some of the heat from this process escapes through the exhaust lessening the efficiency.
Unlike traditional furnaces, high-efficiency models convert fuel into energy to minimize waste. To do this, high-efficiency furnaces do a few things differently:
- They utilize a secondary heat exchanger to capture more of the exhaust gasses before they pass to outdoor vents.
- High-efficiency systems use sealed combustion chambers further reducing heat loss by leaving warm air to continue circulating inside and pulling cold air from outdoors instead.
- These systems also use variable speed blowers to maintain even temperatures-meaning your heat doesn’t kick on at full blast if it’s not necessary.
Why Should I Upgrade My Current System?
According to the Department of Energy, a high-efficiency furnace can save homeowners an average of $400 per year. This is because of their AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. AFUE ratings are based on a scale of 0 to 100 percent and the higher your system is rated, the better it will be at maximizing the energy used to heat your home. High-efficiency models are usually between 90-98% AFUE.
Additionally, modern high-efficiency systems provide greater comfort with variable speed blowers helping to maintain steady temperatures and reduce fluctuations, are less noisy, better for the environment, help reduce indoor air pollutants, and often come with local and federal tax incentives and rebates.
Do I Need To Upgrade Now?
You may be reading this because your current system is outdated, inefficient, or somehow not working the way you need it to. Some signs that it’s time to consider replacing your old furnace include:
• Your furnace is older than 10 years
• Repair costs are becoming greater and more frequent
• Energy bills are increasing more than normal
• Your system runs constantly
• You have uneven temperatures in your home
• Unusual smells or sounds
• Poor indoor air quality
What Else Can I Do To Save?
If you need to delay replacing your old furnace, here are a few things you can do to get more mileage out of the one you currently have:
- Try to keep the difference between outdoor and indoor temperatures as small as possible. So, setting your thermostat lower in the winter and higher in the summer can help. Try setting your thermostat to 68 this winter.
- Setting your thermostat back 7-10 degrees for 8 hours per day can save you up to 10% annually on your utility bills.
- Maintaining the system you have will help you avoid costly repairs or an emergency service call. Be sure to make an appointment with us for an annual furnace tune-up before winter weather kicks in.
Don’t forget to keep the curtains open to let the sun warm up your home, close off any unused rooms, change your furnace filters, make sure windows and doors are closed tightly, and that your furniture isn’t blocking any heating vents.
What The Local Pros Say
At Legacy, our techs do their best to help our customers make the most of their budgets. So, whether that’s with an upgraded furnace or keeping your old model running for another season, you can count on us to give you honest advice and skilled service you need for your situation.
If you plan to invest in a new furnace, keep in mind that HVAC costs are on the rise due to current economic uncertainty and market disruptions, so the key to making major upgrades is to act now. Our technicians can help walk you through each phase of the process and can advise you on choosing the best system for your home and budget. Don’t forget to check out our monthly offers page for rebates, promotions, and local or federal incentives.
If you are looking to postpone an upgrade this year, be sure to schedule a furnace tune-up now to avoid any major repairs or emergency service calls later. We can help you extend the life of your current system and help you make a plan for future upgrades.
Whether you plan to act now or later, there are ways we can help. Online scheduling makes it easier than ever to keep your home and family comfortable.