Even if your home is well-insulated, you won't see the maximum possible energy savings unless you also purchase the most efficient gas furnace available. HVAC companies are competing to create the most-efficient furnace at the lowest possible cost. Therefore, if you have an old and obsolete furnace, you could be throwing money away. Fortunately, it is not difficult to determine which furnace on the market is the most energy-efficient.
Learn the Efficiency Rating
The efficiency of the furnace is measured with the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). By comparing the AFUE of different furnaces, you can determine which furnace will use the least energy in your home. For example, if the AFUE has a 85% efficiency rating, 15% of the energy is wasted and the rest is converted into heat. As of 2015, the most-efficient furnaces have a rating of 98.5.
Choose a Gas Furnace
Gas furnaces are usually the most efficient. Some believe that electrical furnaces are efficient, but the power grid wastes some energy when delivering it to your home. Electrical furnaces may or may not be better for the environment depending on how the energy grid generates electricity. If the energy comes from alternative energy sources such as wind, solar or hydro, the electric furnace will have less of an impact on the environment.
Oil furnaces are less efficient than gas, but oil has become more efficient over the years. Oil may someday be the better option.
Understand the Newest Energy-Efficiency Innovations
When many gas furnaces are not in operation, they send drafts of home air through the ventilation. Then air then passes through the roof, which requires the furnace to cycle on more often to warm the home. Therefore, you should consider purchasing a gas furnace that instead pulls hot gases through the heat exchanger at a continuous flow rate.
Some furnaces have a constantly burning pilot, which wastes energy. If the furnace instead has an electric ignition, this can increase the energy-efficiency of the burner. Also, an induced-draft blower ensures that a constant draft is passing through the heat exchanger, venting the combustion chamber.
Have the Furnace Installed Properly
Once you have located an efficient gas furnace, you will need to look for a furnace installation specialist who can install it in such a way that will maximize its efficiency. Even if the furnace is highly efficient, much of the energy loss is the result of the HVAC vents and piping.
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