If you’re in the market for new heating equipment, you might automatically think of your high-efficiency options. The only downside to a higher-efficiency furnace is the upfront cost. In fact, a furnace with a rating of 90 percent annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) could cost about $1,000 more than an 80 percent AFUE furnace. Here are the factors to consider as you decide whether the extra investment of a high-efficiency furnace is worth it:
- Local utility costs: The cost of natural gas in the Greater Cleveland area is right on par with the national average. When prices go up, a higher-efficiency furnace pays off even more since it keeps your home comfortable without costing as much.
- Climate: With winter temperatures that easily drop into the single digits or lower in Northeast Ohio and a heating season that can run from October to April, it makes sense to invest in a more efficient furnace. In this cold northerly climate where heating is needed more than air conditioning, a high-efficiency furnace could certainly be worth the required investment.
- Environmental impact: No matter where you live or what you pay for natural gas, choosing a higher-efficiency furnace is an eco-friendly decision. By consuming less fuel, a more efficient unit emits less pollution into the atmosphere, which is good news for everyone.
- Factors in the home: A home that retains heat better may be able to get away with a less efficient furnace. If your home has air leaks or lacks proper insulation, you’ll end up paying more for heating, which you can partly offset with a higher-efficiency furnace. However, you can enjoy the ideal combination of comfort and affordability if you make energy-efficient improvements before sizing and purchasing your furnace. These improvements may include sealing the ductwork, adding attic insulation and replacing drafty windows.
- Federal tax credits: A tax credit amounting in $150 for qualifying high-efficiency gas, oil and propane furnaces rated higher than 95 percent AFUE was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2013. However, you can still keep an eye out for continued utility, manufacturer and other government incentives for high-efficiency HVAC equipment.
To learn more about choosing the ideal furnace for your Cleveland area home, please contact Stack Heating & Cooling today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about high efficiency furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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