With more and more people making a conscious effort to protect the planet with greener living, the efficiency of furnaces has come into focus. If you are preparing for a new furnace installation in Sioux Falls, SD but are unsure of which type of system will be best, let’s take a look at a couple of the different energy efficient options that are available.
Understanding energy efficiency
To understand the different energy ratings that mid-efficiency and high-efficiency furnaces receive, you must first understand how these efficiency ratings are compiled. One way a furnace’s efficiency is measured is with an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) percentage. This number represents how efficient a furnace is in proportion to how much fuel and energy is entering the furnace, along with the size of the space that is being heated.
In addition to analyzing output, this number is also a reflection of how much energy your system is losing, with more efficient furnaces being able to successfully minimize the off-cycle losses that include the warm-up and cool-down periods and any additional heat that might escape your home when your furnace is off.
Most mid-efficiency furnaces operate at around 80 percent AFUE, but many of the newer models can go as high as 82 percent. Most of these standard furnaces operate with an on and off blower and a single or fixed speed motor, although dual speed mid-efficiency models do exist. When operating on a single speed, the blower only has one level, and that is full-blast, which might cause the energy efficiency to take a hit if the house is already warm and this high air blast is not needed. The gas burner is also constantly running on full output, which is generally only necessary on the coldest days of the year.
While 20 percent of a mid-efficiency furnace’s energy is pushed out of the system as exhaust, high-efficiency furnaces that have a 90 percent AFUE or higher waste very little energy during their processes. The major difference for this improved efficiency is the use of a secondary heat exchanger that is sealed to retain the combustion that is expelled. Instead of the gases that are pushed out escaping the home through the pipe or the chimney, they are drained in a stainless steel exchanger until all of the heat has been removed, at which point the rest of the condensation that is left escapes through a PVC pipe.
The final decision for your new furnace installation in Sioux Falls, SD will come down to your family’s budget, and what is the best fit for your home’s heating needs. If you need assistance making this decision, contact us at A & R Heating & Air Conditioning Inc., where our knowledgeable staff is always ready to help. For nearly 20 years we have made sure that homeowners in the area have the best furnace solutions for all of their heating needs, and we are ready to bring our reliable, high-quality services to you as well. Give us a call to schedule your appointment today!