It’s an odd concept that, sometimes, the best isn’t necessarily what’s best for us. This may be a concept we have to get our heads around when deciding on a furnace replacement, however. Factors both inside and outside the home should be borne in mind when deciding how efficient the furnace should be in your Warren home.
Running your furnace consumes two different fuels; the gas that’s burned — be that mains natural gas or delivered propane — and the electricity that powers the control equipment and the air mover (often called the blower).
The efficiency of a furnace is described by its Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating, a percentage that tells you how much energy is returned, as heat, for the energy consumed, as fuel. The higher that percentage, the better the efficiency. Modern units can run as high as 97 percent efficient, a far cry from the 65-percent performance figure common in the 1960s. So, to get the best from every heating buck, isn’t it the case that the highest AFUE rating is the best decision? Not entirely.
The most efficient furnaces cost more at initial purchase than do their less prestigious cousins. Further, because the fitting process is often more complex, the cost of installation can be higher. So here’s the tradeoff:
- Will the extra outset costs be recovered in operational savings?
The answer will be unique to your home. It is impacted by many variables, including:
- Both fuel costs (high-efficiency equipment typically uses rather more electricity than comparable low-efficiency units).
- Your family’s typical usage patterns.
- The standard of your home’s insulation.
These are complex considerations, and the cost of a new appliance is likely to be conspicuous. Your contractor should be able to provide you with a list of predicted running costs for a number of alternatives, allowing you to work out together how long it will take to recoup that extra initial outlay. To get the best advice before making a decision, homeowners from Berkley to West Bloomfield have been working with Aladdin Heating and Cooling 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 furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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