In a severe climate like ours, it makes sense to select the most energy-saving equipment you can for home heating and cooling. Since heating and cooling your home account for approximately half of what you spend on energy bills, making informed choices about replacement equipment will affect your comfort and budget for years to come.
Heating equipment. Gas furnaces and boilers have efficiency ratings that describe how well they convert the fuel they use for heat. Expressed as a percentage, the minimum AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) must be 80 or higher. This means that the furnace or boiler converts 80 percent of the fuel it uses to heat, while the other 20 percent is wasted.
Heating system technology has improved to the point where systems can now convert nearly all the fuel they use to usable heat for your home, like condensing furnaces whose efficiency is as high as 98 percent. These systems use a second heat exchanger that removes the heat from the water vapor that gas creates. Investing in energy-saving equipment like condensing furnaces makes sense in this climate, since the heating season is long and intense.
Cooling systems. Central heat pumps and air conditioners carry SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) ratings that start at 13 and go into the 20s. Heat pumps have an additional rating called the HSPF (heating season performance factor) whose minimum is 7.7. A heat pump can cool and heat your home, but in our region, it’s a bit challenging to use a heat pump throughout the winter unless it’s equipped with an intelligent recovery thermostat to regulate the heating function.
Regardless of the kind of equipment you choose, you’ll get the most efficiency and system life if your contractor uses Manual J to size the system carefully. Oversized and undersized systems drive up energy bills and tend to have shorter system life than those that are precisely sized for your home.
For more information about energy-saving equipment, contact the pros at Aladdin Heating & Cooling, providing trusted HVAC services for Detroit, Troy and Sterling Heights homeowners for more than 65 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Warren, Michigan about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy saving equipment and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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