Published on January 17th, 2017
Here’s what you need to know to get the best value when shopping for a new furnace.
- Find the right balance between efficiency and upfront costs
Getting a very high efficiency furnace means you’ll save the most money each month on utility bills, but it also comes at a higher price than less efficient models. You can tell a furnace’s efficiency by looking for its AFUE rating sticker. AFUE means Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. Most furnaces on the market have an AFUE rating of 80%, meaning 80% of the heat from the unit goes to your home, and 20% is burned up in the process. The highest rated models go all the way to 98.5% but cost $1,000 to $2,000 more.
If you plan on staying in your current home for more than five years, these highly rated models have the advantage of often outlasting the standard fifteen year lifespan of most furnaces. With proper maintenance, a quality model should last closer to eighteen to twenty years. If you think you’ll probably move in less than five years, a model around 80% may be fine.
- Check and Seal the Ductwork in Your Home
Check your ductwork to get the most out of whichever furnace you choose. Up to one third of heat in the home is lost by bad ductwork. Hire a technician or seal and insulate the ducts yourself to make sure leakages aren’t making you pay more money for heat escaping your home. With proper ductwork in place, you may be able to get a smaller furnace unit from the increased airflow efficiency from this simple step.
- Get out that Calculator
Here’s the trick to deciding your next furnace value. Start by finding the AFUE rating for your current furnace. Next, add up your year’s worth of heating bills. Let’s do an example. If you pay $2,000 annually on heat, and your furnace has a 75% AFUE rating and you switch to a newer furnace with a 90% rating, you will be saving 15% a year on heating bills. Multiply $2,000 by 0.15 to get a savings of $300 per year.
Your next step is to look at the cost of the furnace and divide it by the savings amount; this tells you how many years it would take to regain all of the savings. If the furnace costs $1,500, in five years, you’ll have made all of your investment back. Over the next ten years, you’ll continue to reap the savings. Try calculating this rate for a highly-efficient AFUE furnace and doing the same calculations to see if paying more upfront will save more in the long run.
These three considerations will help you make the right choice for your budget and comfort. We have been helping our community since 1973 and we’re ready to help you through the process and provide you residential heating installation service in Aurora, IL. Call us at 630-283-6401.