The air is crisp, temperatures are dropping and winter is on the horizon.
Here’s the bad news: This winter’s going to get expensive.
The National Grid predicts heating costs will soar 39 percent compared to last year. That comes on top of the 31 percent spike in heating costs the year before.
Fortunately, there is some good news: Replacing your old furnace with a new, more efficient model can dramatically lower your bill.
If your furnace is over 20 years old, you are likely paying close to 45 percent more on your energy bill than you should. Considering today’s energy prices, installing a new furnace can lead to tremendous savings.
The contractors at HVAC 911 can help. The licensed HVAC technicians specialize in furnace installation and can help you choose an energy-efficient furnace so you can save money this winter.
Furnace efficiency is key to energy savings: Understanding the AFUE rating
Most new central heating systems use gas. How efficiently a furnace converts gas into heat energy is measured by its annual fuel-utilization-efficiency (AFUE) rating, which is measured as a percentage. A higher AFUE rating indicates better efficiency. Not only is a more efficient furnace cheaper to operate, but it’s also better for the environment.
Over the years, furnaces have become significantly more efficient. A 1970s gas furnace might have an AFUE rating of 65 percent. The lowest AFUE rating legally allowed for a modern furnace is 78 percent, and some Energy Star-rated models are 97 percent, a near total efficiency.
Higher efficient models may be more expensive in the short-term, but you make that cost back over time in savings. In fact, an Energy Star-rated furnace must have a short return on investment to qualify for the certification.
Furnace size matters
The size of your furnace needs to accommodate the square footage of your home. A furnace that’s too small won’t heat your home comfortably. Too large of a furnace will also cycle on and off more frequently, wearing out components and wasting energy. Large furnaces are also expensive, yet don’t deliver cost-efficient savings.
The contractors of HVAC 911 can help you choose the proper furnace size ideally suited to the space of your home. They can calculate your heating needs according to an industry standard such as the Manual J HVAC residential load calculation from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. They will choose a furnace based on your local climate, as well as your home’s size, design and insulation.
Take advantage of zoning systems
Different areas of your home get hotter or colder, depending on the size, area of the home and the number of windows in the room. Your kitchen, for example, will naturally be a hotter area due to oven use, while an exterior bedroom will tend to be colder. If a single thermostat is located near one of these areas, you may experience hot or cold spots that can affect the comfort and energy savings of your home.
A zoning system will divide the rooms of your home into zones that are each controlled by a separate thermostat. This way, each room will be at a comfortable level without wasting energy. Rooms you do not often use, such as a guest bedroom, can be kept at cooler temperatures to save on your heating bill.
Install a smart thermostat
Installing a smart, programmable thermostat improves the efficiency of your home by keeping each room to an ideal temperature. You can program your home to have a lower temperature at night or when you are away to save money. For each degree you lower your thermostat for an eight-hour period, you slash your heating bill by 2 percent.
Call HVAC 911 to install a new furnace
If you’d like to install a new furnace and lower your heating bill this winter, call HVAC 911. Our licensed technicians can help you choose the right furnace for your home to help you save.