Now more than ever, homeowners are seeking out energy-efficient HVAC equipment for their homes. Not only do these units save energy, but they also reduce monthly energy bills. We know that efficient furnaces save energy and money, but they also provide outstanding indoor comfort with precise temperature balance and quiet performance. Top of the line furnaces offer 97 percent annualized fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) or slightly higher. Depending on the AFUE of your current furnace, you may save 10 to 30 percent on your energy bills by replacing it with a fuel-efficient model.
Here are a few examples of the AFUE for old and new furnaces:
- Old: 65% AFUE, New 97% AFUE. Savings 33%
- Old: 70% AFUE, New 97% AFUE. Savings 28%
- Old: 80% AFUE, New 97% AFUE. Savings 17%
On average, heating and cooling a home accounts for 45 percent of your monthly energy bill, depending on your climate and time of year. If the entire HVAC system is more than 15 years old, consider upgrading the AC, too. The efficiency of air conditioners and heat pumps has eclipsed furnace efficiency in the last 15 years. For example, 10 SEER air conditioners were common 15 years ago, but today’s top ACs offer efficiency of more than 20 SEER.
Some local utilities offer rebates for energy efficient upgrades to your home, including heating and cooling upgrades. Contact your local utility company to find out what’s available in your area.
Be sure to get multiple estimates from several local contractors to ensure you are getting the best possible price. Don’t hesitate to let them know they are competing for the job.