The furnace, among the most common heating systems used by Northeast Ohio homeowners, operates by heating air in a heat exchanger and then forcing that heat into the house through a series of ducts and vents. In the oil and gas models, combustion products created by the burning fuel are dispensed through the chimney. This is where energy tends to be wasted in old furnace models.
The chimney is on the roof, so this venting process means that older furnaces use energy just to keep the exhaust gases hot enough to rise. Energy also is wasted in the heat that escapes through the chimney.
Today’s gas, forced-air furnaces—more popular than electric because they produce heat more efficiently—put their energy into heating your home. Modern furnaces typically vent through a sidewall rather than the roof, using less energy and reclaiming a significant amount of heat before it can escape.
A furnace’s AFUE rating (annual fuel utilization efficiency) reflects how much fuel it uses to create heat. The higher the number, the more heat it creates per unit of fuel. Modern furnaces that vent out a sidewall will tend to carry higher AFUE ratings. Depending on the age of your current heating system, the savings can be significant with a high-efficiency furnace
Repair or Replace?
The professionals at Lew’s can help you determine if a high-efficiency furnace if right for you. Sometimes a service call can result in a minor repair, and if your furnace is less than 10 years old, it may be worth paying it some extra attention and keeping it running a bit longer.
If you believe a replacement is your best option, our technicians will work with you to make the best choice. Things to consider:
AFUE rating – Efficiency is important, but a higher rating increases the cost. Our technicians will help you calculate the rating that will result in the most monthly savings for you.
The right size is the right choice. A furnace that is too small will be overtaxed and still not keep your house comfortable, but a furnace that is too large will not work at its maximum efficiency. We can help you choose the right size for your home.
Adjusting connections, ductwork and ventilation for your new, high-efficiency furnace will add to the cost. Our technicians will show you how to maximize your investment and ultimate savings.
Most homeowners recoup the cost of a new, high-efficiency furnace in just a few years.
Call today for more information about furnaces and how Lew’s can help you keep your home comfortable throughout the winter.