A furnace is an excellent system for anyone in the market for a new heater. For most homes, it makes the most sense to install. Although several other types of heating systems are available, a furnace is a sensible option if your already have a set of ducts. It keeps the whole home warm, and most units today are more efficient than those from decades ago.
However, efficiency depends on a few different factors. We help guide you through what you should know about furnace efficiency in today’s guide.
Two Stage Heating
Most furnaces are single-stage furnaces, meaning they can only heat the home to a single capacity. The heat is turned up 100% at all times. Of course, the furnace runs in cycles so your home doesn’t get too hot. But it doesn’t seem necessary to keep that amount of heat on when temperatures are not too low.
A dual-stage or two-stage furnace can operate more efficiently because its first stage only runs at about 65%, and this is the stage used most of the time. It’s only when temperatures drop to extremes that the second stage kicks in (100%).
Variable Speed Fans
Variable speed blower fans benefit both heating systems and air conditioners. (Your blower fan doubles for use with both.) This is different from two-stage heating because it has to do with blower fan speed rather than heating output. The fan slows down to a lower speed setting when you don’t need full power, so it’s not running at 100% speed for the entire day.
The AFUE rating (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) gives you a measure of how efficient a furnace will be. Most heating systems do not use all of the energy they take in for heating. Some of the energy is bound to get lost in other ways, like through the vents. An AFUE of 90 is essentially a percentage. It tells you that 90% of the energy and fuel the system takes in is used towards heating, while 10% is lost in other ways.
The minimum AFUE is 79, but this won’t save you much money. You’re looking for an AFUE of 90 or higher if you really want to save.
AFUE for Electric Heating
However, electric furnace AFUEs can be deceptive. A 100% efficiency rating could still cost you, since the price of electricity is so high. For efficient electric heating, we typically recommend a heat pump. And heat pumps use an entirely different scale for efficiency—the HSPF (heating seasonal performance factor).
A final factor to consider with furnace efficiency is sizing. A furnace may have the highest possible efficiency rating, but it still wouldn’t run efficiently if it were not the right size for your home. Whether it’s too large or too small, it can run into a number of problems.
It will likely have to run for longer than it should if it’s too small, which will cost you. If it’s too large, it can short cycle, which wears down the components. Call professional technicians to make sure your furnace is the right fit.
Get a new furnace in Waterflow, NM from the experts at Robbins Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. Don’t waste your time with the run-around. Give us a call and let us do it right the first time!