Top Features of Your New High Efficiency Heating and Air SystemPublished on: November 6, 2018
If your furnace or heat pump is not keeping up with your needs, you should consider an upgrade. If your furnace was installed before 1992, for example, it is likely obsolete. Luckily, heating and air standards of obsolescence are different than those for people!
When it’s time to choose, consider the following features for the best heating system for you: energy efficiency, comfort and customer service.
How to Measure Heating and Air Efficiency
The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating denotes a furnace’s fuel efficiency. All new furnaces display this rating, typically on its yellow “EnergyGuide” label required by the Federal Trade Commission.
The labels list an estimate of annual operating costs under normal conditions. Use these numbers for comparison shopping – not as a guarantee. Every heating and air unit uses fuel based on its climate, user requirements and maintenance.
A well-maintained furnace will, for example, come closer to the number than a neglected one. If one rarely changes the air filter, the heating and air equipment works harder and is less energy-efficient.
In 1992, the U.S. Department of Energy required manufacturers to build furnaces which turned at least 78 percent of its fuel into heat. In May of 2013, the minimums increased to 80 percent.
If your furnace has an AFUE of 80, it still means 20 cents of every dollar you spend on fuel is wasted. So, the higher the AFUE, the better. Today, AFUE ratings reach as high as 98.5 percent. What a heating and air improvement!
Your Furnace Fuel
This decision may already be made for you. Still, it’s worth noting in your decision process. Because an electric furnace does not have a flue, its AFUE is generally higher. Often an electric furnace can have an AFUE in the 95 to 100 percent range.
A gas furnace, which has a flue, is at risk for losing energy through it. Thus, the lower AFUE ratings. Before you think electric is superior, remember electricity is currently a more expensive fuel source, so an electric furnace is not the best bet over the long haul.
In general, a gas furnace is ultimately the better choice when fossil fuels are the only option. If your home is set up for electricity instead of gas, it’s better to consider a heat pump for heating and air.
Some models, despite using gas as the fuel, borrow a little electricity. A furnace with a standing pilot light is regarded as wasting energy. Newer, more efficient models use an electric ignition.
Regardless of the style you choose, maintain it regularly. If you do, you will benefit from its optimal efficiency. When properly maintained, any heating and air unit will perform as closely to designed as it can.
In addition, routine maintenance usually preserves manufacturer warranties, which could help you if something goes wrong.
Heating and Air Recommendations – Look to AC Southeast®
Contact AC Southeast® today to find a licensed and reliable heating and air expert in your area. A member of their team will review your property and your needs. With the right information, it’s easy to provide a thorough recommendation on the size and variety of high-efficiency furnace or heat pump for you.
Most provide financing options as well. This allows you to upgrade your heating and air system without a major disruption to your household budget. If your old system was 80 AFUE or less, the savings will help negate the cost immediately!