Natural Gas High-Efficiency Furnace
If you are replacing an old heating system,
you should always consider the most efficient unit available.
Even if you pay more for it, you can realize energy cost savings
-- and you can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.
A high-efficiency natural gas furnace, also known as a
condensing furnace, is the most efficient furnace available,
because it provides your home with ideal heating comfort while
using less energy than other models. High-efficiency furnaces
are designed to extract additional heat from natural gas and,
when they do, the flue gases condense, or turn to water --
hence, the name condensing furnace.
Energy Efficiency Rating
energy efficiency of natural gas furnaces is measured by
AFUE -- annual fuel utilization efficiency. The higher the
AFUE number, the more efficient the model. High-efficiency
furnaces have AFUE ratings of 88 to 97%, whereas
mid-efficiency furnaces range from 78 to 82%
You’ll notice that there are labels on
new furnaces. One is the EnerGuide label. This label is on
every furnace, it tells you in very simple terms what the
furnace’s AFUE rating is. Keep in mind that just because a
furnace has an EnerGuide label it does not necessarily mean
that the furnace is energy efficient, it simply means it has
is the ENERGY STAR furnace?
If the furnace you are looking at has an ENERGY
STAR® label on it, it means that it is an excellent energy wise
choice. Only furnaces that are exceptional in the area of energy
efficiency (AFUE rating of 90% or more) earn the ENERGY STAR label.
For more information on the ENERGY STAR program click here.
When looking for a high efficient furnace, you might
also want to consider an ENERGY STAR
Significant cost savings
Thanks to its high-tech design, a
high-efficiency natural gas furnace squeezes the most heat out
of every heating dollar. For every dollar you spend on energy,
it produces 88 to 97 cents worth of heat. It could save you
up to 24% (97 AFUE - 78 AFUE) in energy and related energy
costs. Its high-efficiency will also help to insulate you
from increasing energy prices. All in all, the new furnace you
choose will become a very big part of your energy reduction
plan. Choose the most efficient furnace your budget allows. Once
it’s installed, take care of it and it will take care of
lowering your heating costs. Just ask your heating contractor to
help you calculate the savings a high-efficiency furnace can
Energy-saving electronic ignition
Did you know electronic ignition has replaced
the continuous burning pilot light in natural gas furnaces? This
technical advance saves energy by producing a safe and efficient
means of igniting the burner when the thermostat calls for heat.
Easy maintenance for efficiency
When your furnace operates at peak efficiency,
it uses less energy and costs less to operate. Have a heating
contractor perform an annual maintenance check
on your furnace and venting and cooling systems to ensure they
are operating at peak efficiency.
Simple things you can do between maintenance
- Clean or
replace the air filter on your forced-air furnace every one
to two months. A dirty filter reduces airflow and makes your
furnace run longer.
- Allow for
unobstructed airflow near hot air registers (see left),
return air grills, radiators, and baseboard heaters.
Speaking of furniture, be sure it’s not over blocking
heating vents or cold air returns.
Seal the seams of your furnace ducting with aluminum foil
tape, not duct tape.
of our Wise Energy Guide provides more detailed
information on equipment options and cutting down on heating.
For information on the features and benefits
of furnaces, click here.