Should You Replace Your Standard Furnace with a New High-Efficiency Unit?
When it’s time to upgrade your furnace, you may be surprised to learn that you have a lot of choices to pick from when it comes to HVAC brands, high efficiency furnace technology, and overall heating system efficiency. All these options should be explored and researched to ensure that you are making the most out of your investment.
Read on to learn about some key things to consider when purchasing a new furnace system, especially when it relates to furnace efficiency.
What Are the Differences Between 80% and 95% Furnaces?
Furnaces are rated based on their AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating. This number, referred to in percentages, is a measure of a gas furnace's efficiency in converting fuel to energy—the higher the rating, the more efficient the unit. If a furnace is considered a ‘high-efficiency furnace’, this means that it is rated as 90% efficiency or more.
Consider the following when trying to understand the differences between a high efficiency furnace and an 80% AFUE furnace:
The 80% AFUE Furnace
: An 80% efficient furnace is the most basic gas furnace available, and has a single, primary heat exchanger. When it operates, of the gas that is used during operation, the furnace utilizes 80% of the gas and wastes 20%. This basic furnace may come with a lesser upfront operating cost, but you will be paying for your gas, while only 80% will be usable heat for fueling your furnace.
The 95% AFUE Furnace
: A 95% high efficiency furnace will operate at a much more efficient level and has both a primary and secondary heat exchanger. When you have a 95% AFUE furnace, of the 100% of the gas that you pay for, 95% of it will be used to convert fuel into energy to heat your home, and only 5% will be a byproduct of the process. Over time, this increased efficiency should save you significantly on your utility bills.
What Do These Differences Mean for You?
The difference in efficiency levels can impact your wallet quickly over the years. While there’s an upfront equipment and installation cost to consider when it comes to high efficiency furnaces, the story can more accurately be told when you look at your energy consumption throughout the lifespan of the unit.
Let’s think of it this way…
If you spend an average of $1,000 on your gas bill each year, when you choose a lower efficiency furnace, like an 80% AFUE heating system, you will be wasting 20% of that investment every year. In a few years’ time, the money lost in ‘wasted’ or unused fuel may be more than the difference between purchasing the 80% furnace and 95% furnace at the time of your estimate.
Compare the chart below as an example when considering an average of $1,000 worth of natural gas or propane being purchased per year and what you’ll have bought that wasn’t used to heat your home.
As illustrated above in this example, you can see that after 15 years of use, an 80% furnace could waste approximately $3,000 worth of gas, while a 95% furnace would only waste about $750 worth of gas. That is far greater than the difference of upgrading from a mid-efficiency furnace to a high-efficiency furnace at the time of your furnace replacement.
Because of the significant energy savings that a high efficiency furnace can offer, we always recommend picking the most efficient heating system that your budget can allow, because throughout the lifetime of your 10-year parts warranty and beyond, you could expect to recoup a lot of that wasted energy and money.
Benefits of Installing a New High-Efficiency Furnace
Energy efficient furnaces are growing in popularity in Ohio. With inflation and gas prices fluctuating based on economic factors, homeowners are taking control of their energy consumption and opting for more advanced and efficient technology.
AFUE Energy Efficiency
: When you replace your furnace with a high-efficiency system, you will be utilizing more of the fuel that you purchase, which will allow you to consume more, without paying more.
Superior Air Flow
: If installed correctly, high efficiency furnaces produce reliable heating throughout your home and allow you to enjoy both added comfort and savings on your utility usage.
: Depending on the model, most high-efficiency furnaces are known to operate at relatively quiet levels because they don't have to work as hard or burn as hot to heat your home.
Increased Resale Value
: Not often thought of as a selling point, efficient home appliances are growing in popularity with today’s buyers. Invest in an efficient furnace and reap the benefits on your utility bills now and highlight that savings to potential homeowners.
What’s the Bottom Line for a New Furnace?
If you are considering furnace replacement, some of the most important factors that you should prioritize are:
- Furnace Brand: Not all furnaces are created the same. When it comes to choosing the brand of HVAC equipment you will purchase, consider some of the top brands amongst consumers, such as Trane. Assembled in the United States, Trane tops the chart as a user preferred brand. Different brands will have different quality of parts and technology available.
- Heating Efficiency: As we’ve mentioned throughout this page, furnace efficiency is a HUGE part of having the best home heating solution in your home moving forward. Get educated about how energy efficiency will impact your utility usage in the future and plan to have your high efficiency furnace installed with this in mind.
- HVAC Technology: Furnace technology has changed and improved a lot over the years. Now available to consumers, a Trane furnace system can not only operate in a single stage, but also in two-stage or fully variable speed. We recommend looking into staged or fully variable speed technology because you can expect less wear and tear on your furnace, which will lead to better durability and a longer lifespan, offering you (in the long run) better bang for the buck!
- Furnace Installation Company: One of the MOST IMPORTANT decisions you will make with your HVAC replacement project is selecting the heating and cooling company to install your equipment. Choose a company that offers reliable brands and has a great reputation for customer satisfaction. The best heating and cooling system available will not work as it should if it is not installed correctly.
At the end of the day, you want to choose the best system combination for your home, installed by a reputable company. Contact our team today for your free quote on high efficiency furnace replacement.
How Can We Help?
At Logan Services, we are proud to offer quality, high efficiency furnace installation services. It all starts with a free, no obligation estimate to learn about the best heating solutions for your home. Our comfort experts will help you explore your existing furnace replacement options that would best compliment your home, your heating needs, and your budget. Take advantage of seasonal promotions, rebates, and 0% financing options to make your investment more affordable.
Our HVAC technicians are ready to help make your home comfort needs a reality. Contact our team today to get started.
What factors impact furnace efficiency?
Your furnace is rated by its AFUE rating, which is your maximum efficiency level that you can expect to operate at. Some factors that can detract from that furnace efficiency rating include lack of annual maintenance, neglect of regular cleanings of your air filters, and operating a system that has a malfunction. When you keep your furnace top of mind and provide it the care and attention it deserves, you can expect to maximize your efficiency.
What time of the year is the best time to replace your furnace?
At Logan A/C & Heat Services, we always recommend being proactive with your furnace replacement. Oftentimes, manufacturers offer great discounts and rebates in the furnace shoulder seasons, rather in the months that the weather is extreme. If heating system replacement is on your list of projects, we highly suggest you get a quote prior to a system breakdown. You’ll want the time to make an informed decision, and proactive replacement allows you the time to research your options thoroughly.
What are the top furnace brands?
Trane has been repeatedly voted a favorite among consumers. Assembled in the United States and known for system durability and reliability, Trane takes our vote for the best furnace brand for residential heating. We are proud to offer a variety of quality Trane heating and cooling products to our customers. Other manufacturers that have been in business for many years include Rheem, Mitsubishi, Carrier, and Lennox.