If you want lower energy bills, you need a more efficient furnace. The efficiency of furnaces is determined by annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings. The higher the rating, which is a percentage of the fuel converted to useful heat when the fuel is burned, the more efficient the system is. As fuel efficiency has increased over the years, so have AFUE ratings. However, there are other aspects you need to consider along with the efficiency of the furnace you’re considering.
The most efficient furnaces are rated at around 97 AFUE, which means 97 percent of the fuel is converted to useful heat for your home. However, AFUE ratings this high come at a higher initial cost than less efficient counterparts. Because of the energy savings that higher efficiency furnaces offer, though, the extra investment is often recouped in a relatively short period of time.
To decide if the extra investment in a more efficient system is worth it, you should run the numbers to determine the payback time. This is affected by the climate of northwest Arkansas, how insulated your home is and the going rates for gas and electricity.
To determine payback time, you must first know the estimated operating cost of each model you’re considering. A contractor can do this for you to get the most accurate estimate possible. Compare the estimates with one another to find out about how many years it will take to break even if you choose the more expensive furnace.
More efficient furnaces emit fewer greenhouse gases, which make them better for the environment. This factor is certainly worth considering when making your purchasing decision.
The harshest winters in the country occur in the Northeast and Midwest. Other areas of the country are milder, so the payback in areas like northwest Arkansas may be too long if you select a furnace with AFUE ratings over 90 percent.
For help making your furnace selection, contact us at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal.We’re happy to answer your questions and offer our expert advice.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about AFUE ratings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Paschal Heating, Air & Geothermal services Northwest Arkansas. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!