Furnace Efficiency: Just How Efficient Does Yours Need to Be?

Furnace Efficiency: Just How Efficient Does Yours Need to Be?

A furnace replacement or new installation is an important decision that affects energy bills and home comfort, so it deserves careful consideration regarding a host of performance and environmental factors. Use this guide to help you determine the right furnace efficiency for your needs, and why skillful installation and insightful home preparation matter.

Furnace Efficiency

When you think furnace efficiency, you may think fuel efficiency. Generally speaking, the higher a furnace’s annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) — fuel input to heating output — the more advanced features it offers.

Homeowners in regions with long, cold winters, like our Monmouth County area, should pay special attention to AFUE. For instance, if you install a new condensing furnace with 98 AFUE, as opposed to a conventional furnace with 80 AFUE, you may expect to save significantly on your energy bills.

With approximately 5,000 heating degree days in Monmouth County, a 15 to 20 percent savings on heating fuel adds up quickly during the course of one heating season, while delivering a nice return on investment with substantially lower lifetime operating costs than a conventional furnace.

First Things First

Ultimately, the ability for your new furnace to deliver peak AFUE depends on the energy efficiency of your home, including heat loss through the shell and leaky ducts, and balanced air circulation through the forced-air system and living spaces. Follow these tips to maximize furnace efficiency:

  • Conduct an energy audit of your home to reveal efficiency faults in the form of air leaks and inadequate insulation in the home shell and ductwork.
  • Tighten up your home with home efficiency strategies, such as caulking cracks around windows, weatherstripping doors and the attic hatch and boosting insulation in the attic, floor, walls and air ducts.

Once your home is buttoned up, your HVAC pro can take a heating load calculation and accurately size the new furnace. Many older furnaces are oversized for an energy-efficient home. If you simply replace your old furnace with one of the same size, you stand to waste investment dollars and sacrifice efficiency and comfort.

For more real world tips on furnace efficiency, contact Aggressive Mechanical Contractors today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace efficiency and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide..

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