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Is This The Year To Upgrade To A High-Efficiency Furnace? Do The Math And Decide

Heating efficiency is a hot topic these days. Most everyone is looking to save money on their fuel and energy bills, whether that means getting a car with better gas mileage, installing a programmable thermostat, or even just replacing old light bulbs. Upgrading to a high-efficiency furnace can definitely save you on your heating bills, but are the energy savings worth the installation cost?

You can find out by looking at your current heating bills and a little factor called AFUE. AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, is a rating system for furnaces that tells how efficiently they convert fuel into heat for your home. A 75 percent AFUE, for instance, would mean that 75 percent of the fuel is utilized as heat for your home, while the other 25 percent of the heat energy is lost (mostly through the exhaust flue). If your annual heating bill is $1,000, and you have a 75 percent AFUE furnace, then $250 of fuel is being wasted.

Some new furnaces have AFUE ratings as high as 98 percent, though. Instead of $250 worth of waste, such a furnace would only lose about $20 worth of heat — making your annual heating bill in the neighborhood of $770, instead of $1,000.

When doing the math on a new furnace, don’t forget that federal tax credits are available for furnaces that meet certain requirements (including an AFUE of at least 95 percent). That tax credit is set to expire at the end of 2011, so this year is a particularly good time to upgrade to a high-efficiency furnace.

To find out what furnaces are available for your North Carolina home, contact the experts at Blanton’s Heating & A/C. We will be happy to answer your questions, so call us today.