Fall is the ideal time to upgrade your furnace, and if you’re in the market for new home heating equipment, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the furnace features that can save you the most money. Investing a little extra in an energy-efficient furnace can pay dividends down the road in the form of sustained savings on your home heating costs.
As you shop around to upgrade your furnace, here are some of the energy-saving features you should be sure to look for:
- Dual-stage gas valves. This feature helps the furnace warm up faster, before scaling back to a more efficient and less energy-intensive gas flow, sustaining warmth with less fuel consumption.
- Sealed combustion. The sealed combustion process optimizes the efficient extraction of thermal energy from fuel input.
- Variable-speed motors. These systems reduce energy consumption by limiting the speed at which the furnace runs. Variable-capacity furnaces heat at lower levels for extended periods of time, providing energy-saving comfort that helps you save money. These furnaces run more efficiently and more quietly, and they provide even levels of heating throughout the various rooms of your home.
- Dual heat exchangers. This feature optimizes the heat exchange process by drawing out thermal energy from combusted gas more effectively and efficiently.
In addition to these energy-saving furnace features, you should also familiarize yourself with the term “AFUE.” This stands for “annual fuel utilization efficiency,” and it allows you to instantly compare the relative efficiencies of various furnaces. AFUE is expressed as a percentage, indicating how much of the fuel or energy input is converted into heat output; the higher the AFUE rating, the better. Furnaces with AFUE ratings in excess of 90 percent are considered highly efficient. You should also learn to read the yellow EnergyGuide labels that accompany all HVAC products.
If you need any further advice on what to look for as you upgrade your furnace, don’t hesitate to contact the experts here at Blanton’s Heating & A/C. We offer friendly, knowledgeable advice and competitively priced products and services to homeowners throughout the Fayetteville area.