Need to Replace Your Furnace? How Much More Efficient are High-Efficiency Furnaces?

Posted On: August 23, 2012

So your current furnace is getting older, you’re sick of furnace repair bills and you’re thinking about furnace replacement. You’ve heard about high-efficiency furnaces, but you’ve wondered, “How much more efficient is a high-efficiency furnace and how do I know which one to buy?” Here’s a little tutorial to help you understand today’s new high-efficiency furnaces and decide which one would be best for your Ogden area home.

If you live in Davis or Weber county and you’re looking for a reliable HVAC company for furnace replacement, call Mountain Air at (801) 416-2215(801) 416-2215!

What to Look for in a High-Efficiency Furnace

Older furnaces are not very fuel or energy efficient. In fact, some use only about half of the fuel they take in for energy and the rest is wasted. The US Department of Energy (DOE) measures efficiency with an AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating. A gas furnace made in the early 1970s, for instance, would have an AFUE of about 65 percent (only using 65% of the fuel for energy). In 1992, the DOE demanded that manufacturers create furnaces that turn at least 78% of the fuel they use into energy. As a result, today’s furnaces are much more efficient-some up to 98.2% efficient! When shopping for a new furnace, look for the yellow Energy Guide label.

According to the Energy Star website, qualified gas furnaces in the southern half of the U.S., bear a unique “U.S. South” ENERGY STAR logo label and are up to 12 percent more efficient than standard models. These furnaces are predicted to save an average of $36 in energy costs per year. Qualified gas furnaces in the northern half of the country will be labeled with the standard ENERGY STAR logo and are up to 16 percent more energy efficient than baseline models. These furnaces are predicted to save homeowners an average of $94 in energy costs per year.

As would be expected, the higher the efficiency rating, the higher the price of the furnace. Furnaces with an AFUE of 90% or higher will make the most economic sense in colder regions like the Midwest, Northeast and the Northwest. Which means that here in Layton, high efficiency furnaces make sense. Although, high-efficiency furnaces represent roughly $500 to $1,000 more in material costs than mid-efficiency furnaces, they also pay you back with energy savings and many models may qualify for tax credits.

How Much Does a New Energy-Efficient Furnace cost?

So how long will it take to recoup the cost of your furnace replacement? Unfortunately, there’s no hard, obvious answer. Too many factors come into play-the cost of the system, energy costs in Layton, the climate here, your home’s energy efficiency, and the difference in efficiency between your old furnace and your newly installed furnace. And don’t forget to factor in the fact that more efficient furnaces generate fewer emissions and are better for the environment. Hopefully, this helps shed some light on the differences and advantages of new high-efficiency furnaces on the market today, so that when you decide it’s time to replace your furnace, you won’t be starting from square one. When you’re ready to install a new furnace, contact Mountain Air and we’ll help walk you through the buying decision to get the furnace that’s right for your lifestyle and your budget.