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What Is a High-Efficiency Furnace?

Learn about the key features to look for in a high-efficiency furnace

What Is a High-Efficiency Furnace?Are you in the market for a new furnace? Considering the rising costs of energy these days, you no doubt want to make sure you get a furnace that will use its fuel efficiently to give you the most heat for your money. Unfortunately, buying a high-efficiency furnace isn’t as simple as it seems. There is no standard for when a manufacturer can slap the label “high-efficiency” on their product.

Therefore, you can’t rely on marketing copy alone but instead need to investigate the furnace’s features to determine if it really does exhibit high efficiency. Here are some of the most important features to look for when buying a new high-efficiency furnace.

AFUE Rating

The first feature to look for is a high AFUE rating. The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency Rating helps you understand how much of the fuel’s heat potential the furnace can turn in to actual heat for your property. The higher the AFUE, the better. Many people consider 90 percent AFUE the minimum for a truly high-efficiency furnace.

Condensing Furnaces

One way in which high-efficiency furnaces boost their AFUE is by recapturing heat from the exhaust and reusing it to heat your home or business. These types of furnaces are called condensing furnaces. They have two heat exchangers, one that does the normal work of the furnace and one that extracts heat from the exhaust. This causes the exhaust to condense into water which then drains away.

Two-Stage Furnaces

Another technology a high-efficiency furnace may have is a variable or two-stage gas input rate. This allows the furnace to use an appropriate amount of gas to match high and low heating loads. Most days, the lower gas flow setting will be used, but on really cold days the second, higher flow setting will be used to produce more heat more quickly.

Variable Speed Blowers

Many high-efficiency furnaces are paired with variable speed blowers to help them save consumers even more money. Having a variable speed blower helps ensure that the furnace fan always runs at the most efficient speed possible for the heating load. It also helps provide more even heat with less noise.

Smart Thermostats

Integration with a smart thermostat system is one final hallmark of a high-efficiency heating system. Having a smart thermostat can allow you to pre-program temperature changes to match your daily schedule or to create separate zones within your property that can be heated independently of one another.

If you have any questions about buying a new furnace, please don’t hesitate to contact Econo West Heating Air & Plumbing. We will be happy to show you our selection of American Standard furnaces.

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