If your furnace is more than 15 years old, it is most likely not efficient. Our government is granting a tax credit for those who upgrade and install energy efficient furnace. Since heating is the largest energy expense in most homes -- now is a good time to upgrade and reap the benefits of dual savings – lower utility bills and a tax credit for your 2009 taxes.
However you need to understand a couple of vocabulary words while shopping for a furnace. The EPA requires furnaces to have at least 78% AFUE. AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Rating. This means that a minimum of 78% of the fuel consumed is directly converted to heat your home. The rest escapes from the flue.*
Today the efficiency of new furnaces are between 78% AFUE and 96% AFUE. Traditional “power-combustion” furnaces are 80-82% AFUE. “Condensing” Furnaces are above 90% AFUE. “Condensing” furnaces, means that the furnace recaptures some of the heat wasted in traditional systems by condensing escaping water vapor. For Michigan (and cold climates), a condensing model is the best choice.
Proper installation of your new high-energy efficient furnace is also critical in order to fully reap the benefits and savings. A top of the line furnace installed improperly could cause you many problems down the road. Your furnace also needs to be properly sized for your home. Oversized furnaces are a common mistake that you can prevent by having your contractor do a heat loss analysis. A heat loss calculation includes factors such as the window area, type of windows, insulating proper-ties of the wall, and the amount of heat loss through air leakage. Discuss any remodeling plans with your contractor. Ask any contractor who bases estimates solely on the square footage of your house to do a true heat loss calculation.
Ask Adam Helfman at Hire it Done to help you find a qualified furnace installer for your home!