If you’re planning to buy a gas or electrical furnace for your home, consider buying a high-efficiency furnace. These furnaces are way energy-efficient than the older ones. If you look at the AFUE rating or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency of the older furnaces, it ranges from 80% to 85%. On the other hand, high-efficiency furnaces have an AFUE rating of 95% to 97%. So, what do all these percentages mean?
AFUE rating is a parameter that is measured to identify how much energy is used by a heating unit. For example, if the AFUE rating is 85% that means that the gas furnace uses only 85% of the total energy for heating your space, and the rest of the energy gets wasted. And here high-efficiency gas heater or furnace comes into play. Because these high-efficiency furnaces have an AFUE rating of 97%, which means less energy gets wasted. However, AFUE or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency doesn’t tell the whole story.
Should You Really Buy a High-Efficiency Furnace?
Furnaces use electricity or gas or both to heat the air and then carry the heated air through air ducts, keeping your home warm. Furnaces that can complete this process with minimum energy consumption are considered high-efficiency furnaces.
Again, in layman’s terms, a high-efficiency furnace is those, which uses way less energy compared to the older ones. If you have a furnace that is more than 10 or 15 years old, the AFUE rating of that furnace will be around 70%. But as I mentioned earlier, high-efficiency furnaces have an AFUE rating of 95-97%. Besides, a high-efficiency furnace doesn’t have to depend on the pilot light. But if you look at the older one, the pilot light is always turned on, which consumes electricity.
Benefits of a High-Efficiency Gas Furnace
1. Energy Savings
One of the main features of a high-efficiency gas furnace is that it saves more energy compared to the older ones. When you buy this type of furnace, it’ll consume less energy to keep your space warm. As a result, your monthly heating cost will go down and save money on heating bills.
2. Sealed Combustion
Most of the new homes in Dallas are insulated, and it is done to seal off your home from the outside weather. If you want to install an older gas furnace in this type of design, it may not work properly. On the other hand, high-efficiency gas furnaces are designed to suit such home structures.
Usually, older gas furnaces use the surrounding air inside your crawlspace for combustion. But high-efficiency gas furnace uses the outdoor air for combustion purposes. And for this, it uses air ducts to bring the outdoor air inside.
But why this matter? The process that older gas furnaces use is called open combustion. This works perfectly in a vented condition. But when you try to install it in a sealed environment, it may not get enough air supply and produce carbon monoxide. But high-efficiency gas furnace doesn’t have this issue. If your house is new or thinking about sealing your home with foam, you should invest in a high-efficiency gas furnace.
Disadvantages of a High-Efficiency Gas Furnace
1. More Expensive
A high-efficiency gas furnace costs about 30% to 40% more than an old or traditional gas furnace. However, this shouldn’t stop you from buying. Because in the long run, it’ll save you money on utility costs and maintenance.
2. High Installation Cost
To install a high-efficiency furnace, you’ll have to spend more money on installation. Unlike a traditional furnace, you’ll need additional air ducts to carry air from the outside and a drainage system to remove the condensate. All these will increase the overall high-efficiency furnace installation cost.
Condensing Gas Furnace
This type of gas furnace utilizes maximum amount of energy and produces heat. And for this, condensing gas furnace recycles the moisture and evaporator gas into heat, and thus it manages to utilize most of the energy.
Unlike condensing gas furnaces, non-condensing furnaces don’t convert all the energy into heat. In this gas furnace, moisture and gases are released outside through pipes.
Condensing vs. Non-Condensing Furnace
One of the main differences between these two gas furnaces is the number of heat exchangers. Usually, non-condensing gas furnaces have only a single heat exchanger. On the other hand, condensing gas furnaces have two heat exchangers. This heat exchanger is responsible for heating your space.
Again, there is a difference in AFUE rating between the two types. As condensing furnace converts most of the energy into heat, the AFUE rating of this furnace ranges from 95% to 97%. On the other hand, the non-condensing furnace has an AFUE rating of 90% to 92%.
Similarities between the High-Efficiency Condensing Furnace & Non-Condensing Furnace
Both the condensing and non-condensing gas furnace uses gas or liquid propane and transfer it into heat. However, these types of furnaces cannot run using electricity or oil. Apart from this, both the condensing and non-condensing gas furnaces have a higher AFUE rating. Generally, this AFUE rating in these furnaces ranges from 90% to 97%. The FTC or the Federal Trade Commission has set a minimum AFUE rating of 78 for these furnaces.
Goodman High-Efficiency Gas Furnace Cost
If you want to buy a condensing high-efficiency gas furnace, 100,000 BTU will cost you more than 2500 USD. But if you opt for a non-condensing gas furnace, the same 100,000 BTU will cost you around 1500 USD to 1800 USD.
Condensing furnace may seem costly in the beginning but if you want to save money in the long run, you should consider buying a high-efficiency condensing furnace. It’ll save you around 3,000 USD in its lifespan.
How a Condensing Furnace Works?
Heat exchanger produces heat through fuel combustion and in this combustion process, some of the fuel gets lost as vapor, water, and gas. In a non-condensing furnace, this lost vapor and gas are carried through a gas pipe and released to the environment. But in a condensing furnace, there is a second heat exchanger that absorbs these vapor and gas and squeezes the maximum heat out of these.
As a result, condensing high-efficiency furnaces consumes less fuel than the non-condensing ones. Besides, if you choose a condensing furnace over a non-condensing one, you’ll be able to save 10 to 15 percent of the total fuel cost.
Is High-Efficiency Gas Heater Worth It?
It’s safe to say that a high-efficiency furnace is absolutely worth the money. If you’re planning to replace your old furnace with a high-efficiency furnace, you can contact Green Leaf Air. We offer all sorts of HVAC systems at an affordable price with high-quality installation service.
See a summary in this infographic – High-Efficiency Furnace: Is It Really Worth the Extra Cost?
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