Getting an increase in energy efficiency alone is not usually an economically valid reason to consider furnace replacement as long as your furnace is still in relatively good working condition. We generally recommend replacing your older model furnace if any of the following situations apply:
- It’s more than 15 years old
- It has a pilot light rather than an electronic or hot-surface ignition
- It does not have vent dampers or a draft fan
- It is a coal-burning model that has been converted to gas or oil.
If your furnace passes those points free and clear, there are other steps that should be considered first before taking on the extra expense of replacement. First and foremost improving the overall energy efficiency of your home by adding insulation and sealing air leaks will reduce the heating load of your home, requiring a smaller furnace.
Variable-speed blowers will often improve the efficiency of your heating system. Variable-speed blowers enable the furnace to run at a high speed in colder weather or low speed under more mild conditions. This added feature not only saves energy but it also reduces the wear and tear on your furnace; preventing it from always cycling on and off. Furnaces with variable-speed blowers produce fewer drafts, and help to maintain a more constant temperature making less noise, since they're not always running on high.
Another thing to consider is a programmable thermostat. Many of us leave our homes for up to 16 hours a day, and this fairly simple exchange can save energy by reducing the amount of work your furnace must do when no one is at home. For each degree you turn your thermostat down during an eight-hour period, you can reduce your heating bill by roughly 2 percent.
Proper furnace maintenance will keep it running at top efficiency for years to come. You should consider regular cleaning of your air registers, your baseboards and radiators, and regular cleaning or replacing your air filters based on the type of filter you have.
Your heating system also needs a periodic tune-up. You are likely to have twice as many problems due to inadequate maintenance and improper installation as you would be due to having defective equipment.
We realize you have many things to consider in regard to your home. Let H & H Heating & Cooling remove some of your frustration; especially when it comes to something we are experts at: Heating and Cooling your home. We can provide you with an home performance evaluation and make sure you get the absolute best, most cost-effective options.