Choosing a more energy-efficient furnace is a resolution that you can easily accomplish and reap the benefits of a lower energy bill and an improved level of comfort.
Making significant upgrades to your home is certainly something you should give careful consideration, and you might wonder if it's worth the time and money to replace an appliance that isn't broken.
The truth is, if your current furnace is between 10 and 15 years old, you’d be better off upgrading now, even if the system is still operational. Central air systems that are getting on in years are much less efficient than today’s models. Plus, it allows you to take your time, budget and research the best models for your home rather than finding an emergency replacement.
First Things First: An Energy-Efficient Furnace
While lessening your overall environmental footprint is undoubtedly important, we understand that you are probably also concerned with cutting your utility bill as well.
The Department of Energy notes that older furnaces and boilers only operate in the range of 56 to 70 percent efficiency. This means that, in most homes, 30 to 44 percent of the energy usage you're paying for is going to waste.
When you compare this to the fact that newer models can operate at up to 98.5 percent efficiency, it's easy to see how big of a difference this is.
You can think of it in simple terms. Imagine that your furnace needs 100 units of energy every day to keep your house warm. However, if it only operates at 60 percent efficiency, this means that, even though you're paying for 100 units of energy, only 60 of those units are actually warming your home.
Essentially, you're paying for much more energy than is being put to good use. When you upgrade to a more efficient furnace, it might only take 80 units of energy to warm your home, and it's utilizing all 80 of those units. There's less waste and less energy usage, which dramatically lowers your utility bill.
Energy Efficiency Also Improves Comfort
Newer furnace models are also designed with several features that make it easy and convenient to heat your home comfortably.
1. Two-stage Heating
Older furnaces can only operate at full power, but newer ones have adjustable valves that allow you to modulate how much gas is being used. A two-stage heating valve lets the furnace run on a more efficient heating cycle, and it gives you more control over the heating of your home.
2. Variable Speed Technology
The furnace in your home probably has a single-speed fan motor that moves the heated air through the house. This outdated method has been replaced by what's called variable-speed air handling.
When the furnace motor can operate at varying speeds, it offers a few benefits that you might not realize.
- Variable speed motors use less electricity than standard ones.
- They provide customizable comfort for different areas of your home.
- Heated air is moved through your ducts more efficiently.
- You have more control over indoor humidity and air quality.
3. Dual Heat Exchanger
In most cases, the most significant source of a furnace's energy waste is during combustion. This is why energy-efficient models employ two heat exchangers. This system allows one heat exchanger to capture the energy that would otherwise be wasted during combustion and convert it into usable heat.
This method also seals off the combustion action, which prevents even more energy from "escaping." Both of these features will make a noticeable difference in your energy bill as well as the overall comfort.
Resolve to Upgrade Your Furnace in 2020
Upgrading your furnace might not have been on your list of resolutions before, but it should be now. Switching to an energy-efficient furnace can save you money and stress in the long run, and the benefits will pay for themselves many times over.
If you have any questions about energy-efficient furnaces, contact Morris Heating & Air Conditioning at (978) 961-0338.