By Don Rackler, WOAI.com Expert
SAN ANTONIO- If you have an old furnace that’s showing its age, chances are it would be cheaper in the long run to replace it completely rather than continue to perform repair after repair. Even if you get your old furnace running as well as it possibly can, you’ll still be overspending to heat your home, because today’s high efficiency furnaces are as much as 28 percent more efficient than most older models.
Furnaces have ratings known as “annual fuel utilization efficiency,” or AFUE. This rating indicates the percentage of energy put into the furnace which is actually converted into heat for your home. Older furnaces can have AFUE ratings as low as 60 percent even if they are operating at peak performance, while the most efficient furnaces of today operate at up to 98.2 percent efficiency. If you have a furnace with a 60% AFUE, it means that for every dollar you spend on gas, you only get 60 cents worth of heat. The rest goes outside through the flue pipe.
It’s true that new furnaces with higher AFUE ratings are more expensive, but you have to consider more than just the price tag. High efficiency furnaces save you a great deal of money over their lifespans. Consider the difference between a lower-end model with an AFUE of 80 and a higher-end model with an AFUE of 98. That’s an 18 percent spread–which means that you’ll enjoy 18 percent savings on your energy bills if you buy the high-efficiency model. Year in and year out, that adds up to a lot of money, especially since heating accounts for about half of all energy use in a typical household.
To find the furnace that’s right for you, audit your home’s heating usage and crunch the numbers. Consider the initial price of furnaces in the lower, middle and upper efficiency ranges, project your expected annual usage costs, and add up the total cost of both purchasing and running the furnace over its expected lifespan (which averages about 20 years with proper maintenance). Then, look closely at furnaces that optimize your energy savings while delivering the best value for your investment.
If you’d like an expert opinion on high-efficiency furnaces or the heating system that’s right for you, feel free to call the professionals at Jon Wayne Heating and Air. We’re happy to help. We can even show you how some furnaces qualify for the new Federal Tax Credits.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about high efficiency furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Jon Wayne Heating and Air Conditioning services San Antonio and the surrounding communities of Seguin, New Braunfels, Bulverde, Boerne, and Comal County.
Jon Wayne Heating & Air Conditioning
9272 US Highway 87 E
San Antonio, TX 78263