If your low-efficiency furnace has seen its last frigid Omaha winter, you may feel overwhelmed at the thought of choosing a new system. With so many brands, models, and methods for heating your home, where do you start?
At Eyman, we want to be your plumbing and HVAC experts for life. We pride ourselves on staying current with innovations in efficient home care. We aren’t salesmen, but experienced technicians who can help you understand even the most advanced systems.
What Qualifies a Furnace as Energy Efficient?
The phrase “Energy Efficient” is thrown around pretty casually these days, but did you know there are industry standards that regulate whether a system qualifies as efficient? The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency [AFUE] rating is displayed on your unit in a place you can easily locate. This tells you how efficient your system is when properly maintained.
There are older units still functioning in homes at a rate of about 56% efficiency. That means for every $100 homeowners spend heating their home, $44 is being wasted. These are statistics on a perfectly functioning, well-insulated older unit. Factor in leaking ducts, poorly lubricated moving parts and worn-out elements, and that number gets even scarier.
Is My Furnace Out-of-Date?
If you have to maintain your pilot light, or relight it when it goes out, you are likely paying far too much to heat your home. That’s because these ancient units, many of which don’t advertise their AFUE, are often less than 60% efficient. Installing an after-market blower can save you some money on your utilities, while some have been upgraded with an airflow control fan. This can bring you up to about 80% efficiency.
This is where your judgement comes in to play. Look at a full year’s collective utility costs. Add this to the amount of money and time you spend maintaining and repairing your heater. Compare this number to the cost of a new unit, and decide if it’s time to let go.
Lowest Standard for Furnace Efficiency
New standards set in 2013 enforce efficiency standards stating that no unit registering as less than 80% efficient may be installed. In many cases, the minimum is closer to 90%. Recent innovations enable many models to offer up to 99% efficiency! When you factor in the savings on your monthly utility bill and your efficiency tax credit, your new unit will likely be paying for itself in short order.
When it’s Time to Get A New Furnace
You have survived winter after winter with a clunky old unit, and now your patience will be rewarded! While advancements are always being made, there has never been a better time to invest in a new heating unit. Your Eyman technician can help you navigate the complicated terminology and balance your home’s needs with your budget. Once your unit is chosen and installed, we can even guide you through the best ways to insulate and maintain your unit for maximum efficiency.
Keeping your home comfortable is our highest priority. When it comes time to invest, you can always trust the Big Red Truck!