At All Air Heating and Air we are enthusiastic supporters of energy efficiency in heating and cooling technology. Modern furnaces and air conditioners are impeccably engineered to give you consistent, cost-efficient service for up to two decades or more. If properly serviced and maintained, energy-efficient furnaces and air conditioners can save you thousands of dollars in energy costs over their lifespans. We’re talking energy-use reductions of 20-30 percent here, which will shrink your carbon footprint and dramatically lessen your negative impact on the environment.
And the process of development is ongoing. Highly respected manufacturers like Lennox are constantly striving to boost performance levels even further, driven by competition from other companies, a sense of environmental responsibility and a true commitment to delivering new and improved heating and cooling products to their loyal customers.
But you don’t have to take our word for it. In fact, you don’t have to take anyone’s word for it. Because of truth-in-labeling laws, HVAC manufacturers must provide you with accurate information about how much money and energy each and every heating or cooling product they sell can save you.
Furnace efficiency ratings are one outcome of this relatively new requirement. Before you invest your hard-earned money in an energy-efficient furnace, you should have a clear idea about what these ratings represent and what they mean to you as a consumer.
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency: What it Means and Why Should You Care
On the yellow Energy Guide information panels that all modern gas, oil and electric furnaces and boilers carry, one of the numbers prominently featured is the annual fuel utilization efficiency rating, or AFUE for short.
AFUE represents the percentage of fossil fuel burned that translates directly into usable heat (the remainder is lost as waste). Under standards established by the government the minimum AFUE for a new furnace is 80 percent, which is a step up from the fuel efficiency of the typical furnace sold 20 years ago.
But 80 percent is well short of what the most energy-efficient modern furnaces are able to obtain. All Air is an authorized dealer of Lennox gas and oil furnaces, and if you browse the current Lennox product line you’ll find two furnaces with AFUEs of 95 percent, two more with AFUEs of 96 percent and one furnace (the SLP98V Variable-Capacity Gas Furnace from Lennox’s Signature® collection) that offers an astonishing annual fuel utilization efficiency rating of 98.7 percent.
Think about that for a moment. As natural gas is consumed by this furnace, only 1.3 percent of it will be lost as waste. The rest is pumped through duct networks and used to heat the home.
As you might expect, the cost of a furnace will rise along with its AFUE rating. But if you got rid of your 12-year old clunker and switched to a super high-efficiency furnace (one with an AFUE rating of 95 percent or greater), the reduction in your utility bills would cover the purchase and installation costs of that furnace long before it reached the end of its expected lifespan.
Even a high-quality oil-burning furnace, with AFUE ratings in the mid-80s percent range, would be a bargain in comparison to rolling along with what you’ve got.
Top-of-the-line electric furnaces are also capable of achieving extremely high AFUE ratings. However, under current pricing structures natural gas is much cheaper than electricity and consequently you’ll enjoy more savings if you choose the gas-burning option.
All Air Heating and Air: Your Energy-Efficienct Experts in Elk Grove
If you’re in the market for a new furnace (and the heating off-season is a great time to find bargains, by the way), your final purchasing decision will be based largely on cost. How much will you have to pay upfront, and how much will it cost you in the long-run to operate any furnace you’re considering, these are the questions you’ll be asking.
Naturally you would prefer a superior furnace, but you might be scared off by the size of the initial investment, especially when you factor in installation costs in addition to the price of the furnace. But if you purchase a Lennox gas or oil furnace from All Air Heating and Air and contract us to handle the installation, we can offer you generous and flexible financing packages (plus access to rebates and tax breaks) that will make the best equipment surprisingly affordable, even if you’re budget is modest.
If you live in Lodi, Stockton, Sacramento or another nearby community, and are seriously thinking about upgrading to a modern energy-efficient furnace before the start of the next heating season, please call us, email us or stop by today to speak with an All Air representative about your options.