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High efficiency furnaces: What You Need to Know before Investing in One

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One of the most obvious ways to cut down on your energy bills is to install a high efficiency furnace. Because these furnaces are able to extract more heat from the gas they consume, they use less energy to heat your home and begin to save you money immediately.

But as with any major investment you make, you’ll want to know everything you can about a high efficiency furnace before you decide to have one installed.

What qualifies as a high efficiency furnace?

In order to qualify as highly efficient, a furnace must have an AFUE rating of 90% or above. That’s around 10-20 percent higher than mid-efficiency units, and as much as 50% higher than old, low-efficiency units.

This is where you can see the huge money-saving benefits in upgrading your furnace, especially if you currently have an older unit. And not only will you be cutting down on your monthly energy bills, but you’ll also be helping out the environment!

How is a high efficiency furnace more efficient?

High efficiency furnaces operate slightly different than other furnaces. One of the main differences is the presence of a second heat exchanger.

In regular furnaces, a heat exchanger uses gas to warm the air that passes through. The remaining combustion gasses are then vented out of the house through the chimney.

However, those combustion gasses actually still contain heat. In high efficiency furnaces, a second heat exchanger is used to pull the remaining heat out of the gasses. As a result, there is only a very small percentage of heat that is lost when the remaining gas is vented out of your home. In fact, a chimney is not even required for a high efficiency furnace, because the cooled down gasses can be vented through a plastic pipe that is led through the wall and out of your home.

The main disadvantage of high efficiency furnaces

The only big disadvantage of a high efficiency furnace is the upfront price of having one installed. High efficiency furnaces are more expensive than regular furnaces, and not everyone is able to make that investment. However, it’s important to remember that a high efficiency furnace will begin paying itself off immediately in savings on your monthly energy bills.

If you have any questions about high efficiency furnaces, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis area heating and cooling company.

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