The typical Canadian household devotes 60% of their overall electricity use just to space heating. So, if you might be wanting to reduce your current household power expenses by possibly as much as 30 %, consider updating your aging, gas-guzzling furnace with a high-efficiency version.
However, a high-efficiency furnace will cost you a few thousand dollars to purchase and install. Therefore it pays off to take the time so that you can choose the ideal furnace, and contractor, when considering this substantial purchase.
Should you care about your furnace efficiency?
Probably the very first decision is whether to purchase a high-efficiency furnace (90 to 97 % of the actual burnt natural gas is transformed into useful heat), or even a mid-efficiency type, with a 78-82 % rating. Your high-efficiency furnace’s more significant expense will take fewer than six years to recoup, by means of improved energy savings. (Note: regulations stipulate all brand new furnaces should match the minimal mid-efficiency ranking.)
“Apart from conserving a lot more energy, a high-efficiency furnace operates significantly quieter compared to a mid-efficiency furnace and can make your house even more pleasant with its capacity to sustain a much more consistent temperatures,” says Dave Miller, a Calgary energy expert. High-efficiency models also include the option of operating the furnace fan using a direct current motor, which in turn utilizes around 30 % less electrical power than an alternating-current generator.
An essential factor to think about is the furnace’s dimensions relative to that of the residence. A high-efficiency design can typically be relatively smaller, in BTU input, than an older or a mid-efficiency furnace. The furnace dimensions can be impacted if your home insulation is inadequate, although it makes sense to plug those heat leaks in advance of investing in a brand new furnace.
A number of additional points to take into account when purchasing a new furnace:
- Search for models with an Energy Star® tag, attached to furnaces with an efficiency rating of 90 % or higher.
- Request for a heat loss calculation, used to determine the size of furnace.
- Installation expenses may fluctuate somewhat, depending on such things as the amount of ductwork necessary. For example, the majority of high-efficiency furnaces tend to be venting to an exterior wall and combustion air flow is drawn in via plastic plumbing.
- Including an electrostatic filter system to your new furnace – at an additional expense of a several hundred dollars – offers a better effect on decreasing dust and some allergens in your home than enhancing the total furnace efficiency.