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Upgrading to a high-efficiency furnace is a major investment in the comfort and energy efficiency of your home.  When someone comes in the market for furnace replacement, they are usually replacing equipment that is on average 12 to 15 years old.  Furnace technology has evolved a lot over this period of time.  Many furnaces that were considered high efficiency a decade ago are now considered standard efficiency.  If you are considering a high-efficiency furnace, here are some of the benefits they provide.

Higher Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)

Annual fuel utilization efficiency also referred to as AFUE, is the annual output of heat that is put out by the furnace compared to the amount of fuel required to operate.  Most standard-efficiency furnaces carry an 80% AFUE.  This means that 80% of the fuel it consumes is directly being used to heat your home while the remaining 20% is being discharged via the exhaust.  A new high-efficiency furnace today can reach an AFUE of up to 98.3%.  With only 1.7% of the fuel being wasted, they require much less gas or electric energy to warm your home.  This results in lower energy consumption and lower energy bills.

Sealed Combustion Chamber

A high-efficiency furnace, particularly a condensing furnace, uses sealed combustion to bring air from outside through an intake pipe. This component of a high-efficiency furnace is different from a standard-efficiency furnace that uses open combustion, or the air inside the room where the furnace is located.

Why Is This Important?

Open combustion in most cases works fine. However, there are circumstances where the furnace is located in a basement or crawlspace that is not sealed or insulated properly. This can result in a backdraft and carbon monoxide can be released within the air inside your home. With a sealed combustion chamber, you will not have to worry about this issue.

Benefits of a High Efficiency Furnace

New Furnace Rebates

Most energy companies across the map offer a variety of rebates and incentives on new furnaces. In order to qualify for these rebates, you usually have to purchase a high-efficiency furnace that hits a specific efficiency benchmark. In Missouri, Spire is currently offering a $200 rebate with the purchase of a gas furnace that has a 92% to 95% AFUE rating, while furnaces with a 96% AFUE rating receive $300.

Factors That Can Help Determine If a High Efficiency Furnace is Right For You

While high-efficiency furnaces make sense for most homeowners today, there are circumstances where the increase in equipment costs does not offset the long-term savings.  When trying to decide if high-efficiency HVAC systems make sense for you, we recommend weighing these key factors.

How Many Square Feet Does Your Furnace Need to Heat?

The size of your home has a huge impact on potential savings when upgrading to a high efficiency furnace.  The larger the home, the more fuel it requires to heat.  This translates to higher savings on energy bills with a high efficiency HVAC system.  Homes that are heating more than 2,000 square feet of space have the potential to save much more over the lifespan of a furnace than homes that are only heating 1,000 square feet.  Other factors contribute to this such as what temperature you like to keep your home at and how many hours a day you heat your home.  There is no exact number on the size of the home, but we do recommend seriously considering it for any home over 1,500 square feet.

How Long Do You Intend To Live In Your Home?

The majority of the benefits related to cost savings on high-efficiency heating systems are long-term.  How long you plan on living in your home is a very important component to weighing the cost savings of high-efficiency equipment.  If you plan on relocating or buying a new home in the next 5 to 10 years, there is the potential to miss out on a lot of the savings that occur on the back half of a high-efficiency furnace’s lifespan.  We always recommend seriously considering upgrading to high efficiency when you know that you are currently living in your “Forever Home.”

High Efficiency Heating Systems Superior Installs

Today almost every HVAC brand now carries a high-efficiency line. At Superior, we are proud to be a Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer.  The majority of the high-efficiency furnaces we install are Bryant Evolution systems.  We find that the Bryant Evolution line is a fantastic balance between performance, durability, and cost.  Here are some of the popular models we install.

Bryant Evolution™ 98 Variable Speed Modulating High Efficiency Gas Furnace

The Evolution 98™ is a top-of-line high-efficiency gas furnace that carries an industry-leading 98.3% AFUE rating. With variable speed delivery, the furnace operates extremely quietly while providing homes with consistent and comfortable temperatures. The Bryant Evolution™ 98 uses a proprietary technology called Perfect Humidity™ which is designed to remove moisture in the air during the summer months in order to maximize comfort. It uses a modulating operation to maximize efficiency based on varying outdoor temps, providing you more savings on your energy bills each month.

Bryant Evolution™ 96 Variable-Speed Gas Furnace

The Bryant Evolution™ 96 uses two-stage, variable speed technology to adjust output based on your home’s heating demand. This equates to more consistent heating cycles when using the low stage increasing both comfort and energy savings. It has a 96.7% AFUE rating and also boasts the Perfect Humidity™ technology.

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