Minnesota Heating & Air Conditioning >> High-Efficiency vs Low-Efficiency Furnaces
In a majority of homes in the Minneapolis St. Paul metro area, the furnace in the basement is over 10 years old, and probably has an AFUE efficiency of just 80% or even less. In many homes, gravity or octopus furnaces which are even older, may have efficiency ratings of only 50%. Today, new home heating technology and design makes low-efficiency heating a thing of the past, turning as much as 96% or more of the fuel burned in them into effective heat for your home. As a Minnesota full-service heating contractor, we’re installing more and more high-efficiency furnaces each year to replace those old energy-wasting units.
Replacing your old, inefficient furnace with a modern high-efficiency one makes sense in many ways. From the first day you use it, a modern forced-air natural gas furnace will begin saving money on every energy bill. Those savings will continue as long as you own your system. In addition, rebates and tax credits can reduce the extra cost of the upgrade or replacement. As your trusted Minneapolis residential heating contractor, we believe that understanding how gas furnaces work is important for our customers, so here are some of the main differences between the older low-efficiency and high efficiency furnaces:
- Venting Systems – Burning natural gas generates carbon dioxide and water vapor. Older furnaces have to exhaust those products of combustion at a high enough temperature to carry that water vapor to the roof through the vent system. That means that 20% or more of the heat generated escapes through the vent. Newer high-efficiency furnaces use two heat exchangers, instead of just one, letting them extract up to 96% or more of the generated heat, using that extra heat to make your home more comfortable while burning less fuel. In fact, the exhaust from these furnaces is so cool that it can be removed from your home through a small PVC pipe that exits through a wall, rather than the roof. A fan forces the exhaust out the vent.
- Water Drain Systems – Due to the cool temperatures of the exhaust gasses from a high-efficiency furnace, most of the water vapor generated when fuel is burned condenses into liquid water in a secondary heat exchanger. Any remaining water vapor escapes harmlessly into the atmosphere. That’s why these highly energy-efficient furnaces are also called “condensing furnaces.” That condensed water has to go somewhere, so it is carried through a drain line to your home’s sanitary drain system. As everyone knows, water contributes to rusting, so the secondary heat exchanger is made of stainless steel, which won’t rust.
Energy-Saving Differences Mean Big Cost Savings
The additional components inside a high-efficiency condensing furnace add additional costs to manufacturing, and those are passed along to the consumer through higher prices compared to less efficient models. To help homeowners make the decision to buy energy-efficient furnaces, both the federal government and local energy companies offer tax credits and rebates to cover some of the price increase. But it is lower energy bills that make investing in a high-efficiency model a great idea. Over the lifetime of your new furnace, you can save up to thousands of dollars in energy savings alone. When we show customers how much they will save over time, most customers now choose models with an AFUE rating of more than 90% over a standard 80% AFUE model.
High-Efficiency Furnace Sales & Installation – Minneapolis St. Paul, MN
When high-efficiency condensing furnaces came onto the market, and even before they started gaining popularity among homeowners, our most trusted Minnesota heating company knew they would be the choices of the future. Today, we’re supplying and installing these newer highly efficient models throughout the Twin Cities metro area for more and more of our customers, some of whom have been our customers for more than 20 years. We’re still selling and installing standard efficiency furnaces, of course, for customers who specify them, but they’ll soon be obsolete. In fact, the federal government planned to prohibit the sale of furnaces with less than a 90% AFUE rating in the near future. As a leading residential heating contractor, we will be happy to discuss replacing your old, inefficient furnace with a money-saving high efficiency model. In a free, no-obligation consultation in your home, we can show you all the benefits to you and your family of such an upgrade.