How to Achieve Optimal Furnace Efficiency

How to Achieve Optimal Furnace EfficiencyFurnace efficiency is built-in when the unit is manufactured. Every furnace has an AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating assigned to it. Today’s new standard efficiency furnaces have 80% AFUE while high-efficiency models have AFUE as high as 95%. In years past, however, furnace efficiency ratings were significantly lower.

In addition to the AFUE rating, the efficiency of a furnace is also determined by factors such as how it’s installed, quality of maintenance and the age of the unit. Here’s how these issues impact energy efficiency, heating performance and furnace service life.

Professional Installation

Only qualified HVAC professionals should install a new furnace. General carpenters or the local jack-of-all-trades lack the specialized training, expertise and equipment to install a furnace to industry standards. Unskilled installation can result in permanent issues of low efficiency and poor performance.

Every furnace installation should include a formal heating load calculation by a certified HVAC technician. This provides vital data about the BTU capacity required to heat the house at optimum efficiency and effectiveness. Guesstimates aren’t good enough. Oversized and undersized furnaces are chronically inefficient and perform poorly.

Regular Maintenance

Annual furnace preventive maintenance should be scheduled every year. An experienced HVAC service technician will perform a list of preventive maintenance procedures that ensure maximum energy efficiency as well as supporting optimum heating performance and service life. Most manufacturers require a record of professional annual maintenance as part of the terms of the furnace warranty.

When to Upgrade

As a furnace approaches its typical 15 to 20 year service life, replacement should be considered. A new furnace that complies with higher current Federal energy efficiency standards will certainly be more efficient than your existing unit, cost less to operate and provide more consistent, reliable heating.

In some cases, early upgrade may be advisable. If expensive repairs such as heat exchanger replacement are required, or if poor heating performance of the old existing unit is beyond repair, cutting your losses by upgrading sooner rather than later should be considered.

For more information about optimal furnace efficiency, ask the professionals at C.R. Wolfe Heating & Air Conditioning.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Middletown, New York about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 845-367-4482. 

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “TheDigitalArtist/Pixabay” 

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