If you’re looking at a furnace replacement, the primary factor you should consider is the efficiency of the new system to get the most bang for your buck. However, homeowners on a budget might not think that a top-of-the-line furnace system is possible. The question is, should you pay more now or later?
High-efficiency furnaces will get the biggest energy savings, which means a quicker return on your investment and lower energy bills. Furnace efficiency is evaluated through annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings, with high-efficiency systems starting at 90 percent AFUE. This rating reveals the ratio of energy used to energy lost: A 90 AFUE system will use 90 percent of the total fuel consumed to generate heated air, with 10 percent wasted. High-efficiency systems do cost more initially; however, the payoff comes from the increased energy savings.
Energy savings will either make or break your investment. While investing in a lower-efficiency system might seem like a smart move if you’re on a tight budget, you’ll end up paying more in energy bills in the long run. That’s why it’s often wiser to invest in a high-efficiency system, because increased energy savings will help you pay off the investment quickly.
Take, for instance, two differing AFUE-rated systems: 98 and 80. The difference in efficiency is almost 20 percent. If you invest in the lower-rated system, you’re going to pay nearly 20 percent more in energy bills for the life of the system. Invest in the higher-rated system, and you save nearly 20 percent in energy bills for the life of the system.
If you find yourself in the position where your furnace replacement budget doesn’t make room for the cost of a high-efficiency system, the best thing you can do is to reduce your home’s heating load by adding insulation, for instance, in order to reduce the amount of conditioned air your furnace must produce.
If you would like help with your furnace replacement decision, contact the experts at Stack Heating & Cooling today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace replacement and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Stack Heating services Cleveland, Ohio and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!