Are You Wondering How Efficient Your Furnace Should Be?

Are You Wondering How Efficient Your Furnace Should Be?Furnace efficiency matters when it comes to choosing the best heating equipment for your Greater Kansas City home. The more efficiently your home heating system uses fuel and/or electricity, the lower your monthly energy costs. In order to calculate furnace efficiency, it’s necessary to consider both the type of fuel used and the amount of electricity needed to operate unit blowers and other controls.AFUE – or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency – ratings measure how well a furnace or boiler converts fuel into heat. The higher this percentage, the more heat is produced by the fuel.

Technology has come a long way with furnace efficiency. In the 1970s, it was common for gas furnaces to have an AFUE of 65 percent. This means that just 65 percent of the provided fuel created heat for a home and 35% was vented as a form of flue gas to the outdoors. Today, the lowest AFUE rating allowed by law is 78 percent. Standard-efficiency furnaces are usually around AFUE 80 percent, and high-efficiency models begin at AFUE 90 percent. The Energy Star is awarded to residential furnaces in the Northern states with AFUE 95 percent or greater. The Energy Star minimum AFUE in the Southern states is 90 percent.

When it comes to buying a new heating system for your home, sticker costs generally rise with the listed fuel efficiency. In many cases, especially in areas with long, cold winters, high-efficiency gas furnaces are capable of recouping this initial investment over time in the form of reduced energy bills. How fast this occurs depends on local climate factors, your home’s insulation and airtightness, and the local cost of gas and electricity.

In order to select the best-rated equipment for your household, contact your HVAC contractor for a list of available models and a calculation of their estimated annual operating costs. As mentioned, such a calculation should factor in your local gas and electricity rates along with your home’s specific heating requirements.

To learn more about furnace efficiency, or to schedule a consultation, contact your local experts at Overland Park Heating & Cooling, Inc. Our talented and experienced technicians have been proudly serving homeowners in the Greater Kansas City area since 1983.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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