High-Efficiency Furnace: Everything You Need To Know
Does your old furnace frequently need repairing or seem to get more inefficient every year? Are your monthly energy bills rising?
As energy efficiency has become a hot topic for Calgary homeowners, the furnace is an obvious place to start (or continue) with an energy-and-cost-saving drive. It is one of the biggest energy guzzlers in your home.
High-efficiency furnaces do things that 15- or 20-year old furnaces simply can’t. For starters, they waste far less energy!
But you probably have a few questions:
How do high-efficiency furnaces differ from traditional ones?
Are they worth the initial outlay?
What are the main pros and cons of such furnaces?
The following guide will help answer these questions.
What are high-efficiency furnaces?
“High-efficiency” is a much-used term with all types of household appliances these days – but what does it mean when it comes to furnaces?
Your furnace will have an energy efficiency rating. This rating tells you how efficient that particular unit is at turning fuel into heat.
The more efficient the unit, the more heat is generated, and the less money wasted in terms of heating dollars spent.
For instance, a 98% efficient furnace is turning 98 cents of every dollar spent on heat into actual heat.
On the other hand, an older 85% efficient unit is wasting 13 cents per dollar spent in comparison to the 98% efficient furnace.
That can make a big difference over the course of one winter. Over the course of a year or five years, inflated energy bills can eat unnecessarily into your finances.
It is advisable, therefore, to consider high-efficiency furnace models that are ENERGY STAR certified by the government. These energy-efficient models do not compromise on quality or performance.
How do high-efficiency furnaces work?
All furnaces heat air and move it through the home. That is their purpose.
High-efficiency furnaces in Calgary are powered by either natural gas or propane. Without going into unnecessary technical details, the main differences between high-efficiency furnaces and their conventional counterparts are two-fold:
They have two heat exchangers instead of one: this means that condensed gas is converted into heat, whereas in older models it is expelled through the exhaust.
They use sealed combustion: an air-intake pipe brings the air required for combustion from outside—unlike older furnaces that use the warm air inside the home (this is more efficient and safer).
Developments in furnace technology over the years have improved energy efficiency greatly in many Calgary homes, helping homeowners lower their bills.
What are the main pros and cons of high-efficiency furnaces?
Let’s weigh up the main benefits and consider if there are any downsides to switching to a high-efficiency gas (or propane) furnace.
Pay you back every single month
Every homeowner likes to see lower bills. Furnaces are a major contributor to energy bills whether you’re using natural gas or propane.
If you’re currently using a furnace that is 15 years old or more, you could be saving money every month.
Obviously, there are costs involved in switching (buying the furnace and getting it professionally installed) but you will be paid back every single month over many years.
Fewer expensive repairs
A new, energy-efficient furnace is far less likely to require expensive repairs or spare parts than an older model – another way you save money.
Older furnaces frequently suffer from problems with the ignition system, blockages, not enough heat being generated, cycling on and off too frequently, operating too noisily, etc. A new furnace solves these problems instantly.
Of course, a furnace that doesn’t break down also means that you won’t have to wake to a panic situation one winter morning with the house freezing cold because the furnace has packed up.
You probably don’t need reminding that a malfunctioning or broken furnace means that the forced-air heating system doesn’t work. And that means a freezing cold home.
Furnaces have a habit of breaking down in the winter when you need them most – and, unfortunately, that’s also when the queue for repairs with your plumber is longest!
It’s better for the environment
Lower energy usage is better for the environment.
As many homeowners in Calgary move to the future with lowering their carbon footprints in mind, an energy-efficient furnace is a great starting place.
More compact: less space used
The latest energy-efficient furnaces are generally smaller in size than conventional models, meaning you need less space in your home to accommodate the unit.
Your new energy-efficient furnace should last many years – longer than conventional models. You can expect a high-quality energy-efficient furnace to last in the region of 20 years.
At Pete the Plumber, we recommend and install only the highest-quality furnaces from established manufacturers like Trane, American Standard, and Heil.
Are there any downsides?
Because of their longevity, durability, and capacity to save money, high-efficiency furnaces often cost more upfront than conventional furnaces.
Installation costs are manageable but if there are complications with installing the system, such as a difficult-to-reach install site, these costs can rise.
As mentioned, initial outlays are generally recovered by the lower monthly bills over time.
Start saving energy and lowering bills today
To achieve optimal furnace performance and maximum longevity, it’s important not only to choose the right capacity high-efficiency furnace – but to get it installed professionally by licensed and certified professionals.
At Pete the Plumber, our decades of experience with heating systems can help you select the right unit and install it safely and efficiently.
Of course, all work is backed by our “Superhero guarantee”. We promise 100% satisfaction and round-the-clock emergency service.
It also covers a 12.5 part and labour warranty on all Pete The Plumber’s supplied furnaces.
Looking for a new furnace?
To inquire about installing a high-efficiency furnace, contact us through our online form or give us a call at (403) 257-1766.