The federal government sets minimum efficiency standards for heating and cooling systems. Furnace efficiency is rated via annual fuel utilization efficiency, or AFUE, with the minimum efficiency at 78 percent. However, high-efficiency furnaces go well beyond that percentage, ranging between 90 and 98 percent AFUE. The top performer nets significant savings on heating bills, wasting only 2 percent of the energy they consume, which is typically lost through the chimney or venting system.
To understand why high-efficiency furnaces achieve the ratings they do, it helps to understand the features they use, which essentially dictate their AFUE number.
- Sealed combustion limits the mixing of air with gas, controlling the rate at which fuel is used and drawing the maximum amount of heat from fuel the system uses.
- Two-stage gas valves offer control over fuel consumption, using less fuel when the home’s heating load is low, and ramping up fuel delivery when the heating load increases or the weather is extreme.
- Variable-speed air handlers manage the delivery of air and how much heated air is sent into the home. The primary perk of a variable-speed unit means a continuous stream of air at a lower speed, so you’ll experience improved home comfort with even temperatures and lower energy consumption.
- Electronic spark ignition bypasses energy losses common with older pilot-light fitted systems. Instead, they only use energy to start up the furnace.
To ensure optimal performance from your new high-efficiency heating system, be sure that the unit is properly sized and installed—factors that can either help or hinder system efficiency.
The experts at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbinghave been providing quality HVAC services to Grand Traverse County and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to find out more about installing a high-efficiency furnace in your home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about high-efficiency furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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