When your furnace nears the end of its life, you’re left to decide between a repair, a replacement, and an upgrade. While an upgrade may sound like an unnecessary expense, high-efficiency furnaces are actually superior to regular furnaces in many ways. If you’re wondering how you differentiate the two, the main difference lies in the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. The AFUE rating represents the percentage of fuel your furnace converts into usable energy. For example, a furnace must have an AFUE rating of 90-97 per cent to be grade as high-efficiency. A furnace with an AFUE rating of 90 per cent will use 90 per cent of its fuel to heat your home, turning only 10 per cent into exhaust. Therefore, a higher the AFUE rate means better efficiency. Here are a few more examples of how this further benefits you as a consumer:
You’ll See Increased Energy Savings
One of the most prominent features of a high-efficiency gas furnace is the electronic ignition technology. Unlike a pilot light, which is constantly activated, an electronic ignition is only engaged when the furnace is in use, resulting in less wasted fuel. Although high-efficiency furnaces have a higher upfront cost, in the long run this energy efficiency will translate into huge savings on your energy bills.
You Can Get Government Rebates
In addition energy savings, investing in a more efficient furnace also makes you eligible for government rebates. For example, The Ontario Power Authority offers homeowners a $125 rebate for switching from an existing furnace to a high-efficiency model with an electronically commutated motor. Other rebates may also be available through the Canadian Office of Energy Efficiency.
It’s More Environmentally Friendly and Longer-Lasting
Because more efficient furnaces reduce waste, they also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, most models condense, which means they have an internal system to remove moisture, thereby elongating the life of the equipment.
These furnaces don’t have to run as long as regular furnaces, meaning less combustion time. In addition, the airflow is better regulated, so combustion becomes a safer process. Some high-efficiency products even contain and exhaust all of the products of combustion, which can help improve the indoor air quality of your home.
When deciding whether or not to upgrade your existing furnace, it’s important not to look at the up-front cost as the only factor. Down the road, a high-efficiency furnace can save you time and money on bills and costly repairs. For more information, contact an experienced HVAC company today!