Welcome to the first official week of fall!
What are you planning this season to make sure your family stays comfortable during the upcoming cool weather? You may have suspicions about your current furnace’s abilities. Maybe it needed repairs last year, or it’s starting to cost a small fortune to run. It might be so old you’re concerned it will fail on you the next time you need it (which will be in a few months, maybe earlier). If any of these are the case, we recommend calling us for help. The situation may only call for furnace repair in Bellevue, WA—or it might be time to put in a new furnace.
When it is time to replace your furnace, we advise you give some serious consideration to a high-efficiency unit.
What Makes a “High-Efficiency Furnace” High Efficiency?
This does need a bit of an explanation …
You probably have a “mid-efficiency” furnace (unless it’s very old, in which case you should have it replaced yesterday!). Mid-efficiency furnaces have around 80% to 83% AFUE rating. AFUE is the percentage of the fuel supply a furnace turns into heat energy. For example, a furnace with 80% AFUE loses 20% of the fuel it burns to exhaust.
A high-efficiency furnace scores much higher AFUE, from 90% to 98.5%. This means significant savings on annual gas bills, improving them by 10% to almost 20%.
The way high-efficiency furnaces achieve this improvement is through a number of features. The most important one is the furnaces have a second heat exchanger. The exhaust gas from the first heat exchanger doesn’t for straight out the flue, but instead moves to this second chamber where the exhaust gas is condensed to draw out even more heat. This second heat exchanger is the reason high-efficiency furnaces are often called condensing furnaces.
Another feature is sealed combustion. Older furnaces have open combustion chambers, which allows heat to escape during the combustion process. (They’re also less safe and contribute to a drop in moisture in the air.) A seal combustion furnace is closed-off from the air in the house and instead draws the air it uses for combustion from outside through a PVC pipe.
High-efficiency furnaces may also have variable-speed fans and multi-stage burners to allow the heater to scale back on how much energy it consumes when the home has smaller heating needs. Ask your furnace installer about the options available to you that can help you have the best heating system possible.
Do I Really Need a New Furnace This Fall?
This isn’t a question we can answer for you with any certainty on a blog post. Every home has its unique situation when it comes to the furnace. The best way to find out your furnace’s future is to arrange for an appointment with our specialists. They’ll be honest with you about whether you can continue with repairs or if you need a new furnace. Should you decide on a new furnace, our team will be happy to help you with choices for a high-efficiency unit.