Higher efficiency furnaces are more eco-friendly
The less waste a furnace produces, the more environmental-friendly it is. If the environment is a priority for you, you would be better off getting a gas furnace rather than an oil furnace or an electric furnace. Gas furnaces have lower carbon dioxide emission rates than oil furnaces.
Higher efficiency furnaces will give you more energy at the same price
Consider two furnaces with efficiencies of 80% and 90%. If both of them are turned on for the same period of time, the energy bill will be lower for the 90% furnace. However, you are paying for the 20% and 10% waste as well. So, if your primary concern is getting the most value from your energy dollar, a higher efficiency furnace may be the best choice. However, the 90% furnace will represent a costlier initial investment.
There are a lot of things you need to consider before purchasing a furnace. Just because a furnace is 90% efficient doesn't always mean that it is the right furnace for you. Purchasing a furnace is a long-term investment so getting it right is a major priority.
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Why Does A Furnace's AFUE Rating Matter?
When you are in the market for a new furnace, it is absolutely essential to consider the furnace's AFUE rating. AFUE is short for annual fuel utilization efficiency and all the models in today's market will have an AFUE rating as stipulated by the Department of Energy and the Federal Trade Commission.
An AFUE rating indicates the percentage of fuel the furnace actually produces as heat for your house. It is a measure of a furnace's efficiency in turning fuel to energy. For example, if a furnace has an AFUE rating of 80%, it converts 80% of the fuel into energy and the remaining 20% turns to waste.
You should also remember that your furnace's efficiency will be affected by the level of insulation in your home and the nature of your vents, where you keep the furnace, and the items kept around the furnace. The design and layout of your building will have a huge impact on efficiency.
Your location should have a say on furnace's AFUE rating
If you live in an area that experiences harsh winters, you should probably buy a furnace with a very high AFUE rating. The high initial investment will be offset by the money you save on energy bills. If your winters aren't that cold, going with a slightly less efficient furnace would be a good idea.