Investing in Energy Efficiency
Furnace Technology

Investing in Energy Efficiency Furnace Technology

It has been a very cold winter in St. Louis so far this year. For a lot of residents, this fact became even more apparent in January as the heating bills from December began to appear in the mailbox. With furnaces working overtime to keep up with unusually cold weather, now is the perfect time to discuss high-efficiency furnaces. There is no need to spend the rest of the winter paying top dollar for energy when you could be saving money now and in the future.


Energy Efficient Furnaces

If you are still heating your home with a furnace from the 1990s or beyond, then you will be amazed to see just how far the technology has come. Today’s gas furnaces are specially designed to offer efficient performance that uses less energy and reduces your utility bills. Furnaces are rated according to how efficiently they are able to turn gas into heat. This is called the annual fuel-utilization-efficiency (AFUE) rating. You should be looking for higher AFUE numbers, which means that the furnace can quickly convert gas and will produce fewer emissions.

Want to know just how far furnaces have come? In the 1970s, most furnaces offered an AFUE rating of around 65%. Today, that number isn’t even legal. The minimum rating that is allowed by law is 78% and newer models offer 97%. You can imagine how that level of efficiency translates into utility bills.

Furnace Prices

Furnace prices can vary widely according to the size of the furnace, the furnace brand, and the AFUE rating. It is easy to get a sticker shock when you are investing thousands of dollars into your home, but it is important to remember the benefits of purchasing an efficient model. Here are just a few ways that a high-efficiency furnace will save you money:

  • Tax credits. The government actually wants you to make an environmentally-friendly choice when it comes to heating your home, so they offer tax credits as an incentive. The amount you will be credited depends on the type of improvements you make and what equipment you purchase.
  • Energy Star rebates. You have probably seen the blue energy star logo on various appliances. This designation and certification program is part of the Environmental Protection Agency and is designed to encourage manufacturers to build better products and consumers to shop smarter. When you purchase an Energy Star-approved product, you may be eligible for a rebate.
  • Lower utility bills. While a high-efficiency furnace may cost you more upfront, the extra cost essentially pays for itself in the form of lower utility bills each month. In fact, a reputable contractor will be able to calculate the yearly cost of operating different furnaces in your home. These calculations take into account the climate in St. Louis, whether the rest of your home is energy efficient, and local utility rates. Be sure to request this information so that you can make an informed decision and choose the best furnace for your budget.

What to Look for in High Efficiency Furnace Technology

Variable Speed Blowers

This feature allows the furnace fans to blow at a slower speed when there isn’t a big demand for heat. The result is quieter operation and a more consistent temperature.

Ignition System

With new furnaces, you don’t have to worry about trudging down to the basement in the dead of winter to relight the pilot light. Cutting-edge models have done away with the pilot light and instead rely on an electric ignition and a hot surface, direct spark design. This helps the furnace to run more efficiently.

Zoned Heating

This HVAC system uses several thermostats to detect temperature differences throughout the home and deliver heat to certain areas accordingly. Dampers and blowers are activated to control the amount of heat being delivered for a more constant temperature and better efficiency.

If you were shocked by your energy bill from December, then January is the perfect time to position yourself for a new furnace installation project. You will be amazed to see just how far high-efficiency furnace technology has come and how it can save you money each and every month. Make January the month you upgrade your HVAC system and start making your home more efficient and environmentally friendly.

Contact Superior Heating and Cooling today to set up a consultation and receive an estimate.

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