If you went to the gas pump and you paid for 10 gallons - you pumped 6 in your tank and the other 4 leaked out of your gas tank before you could use it would that tick you off a bit? What would you do about it? Unfortunately most homeowners have no idea it is even happening with their gas furnace. There are 2 ways this can occur.
This topic is Reason #4, of our Top 10 Reasons For A Furnace Tune Up; which is make sure it's performing efficiently and keep money from going up the chimney. You see, there’s a GOOD chance your current heating system is underperforming --- robbing you blind!! The majority of HVAC Systems in the US are wasting 40% or more in energy costs! That's why we use the illustration of pulling up to a gas pump and paying for 10 gallons but dumping 4 gallons on the ground. Everyone get's that!
The other factor is having a low efficiency furnace. The efficiency of a furnace is measured in a rating known as AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). A lot like your car’s miles per gallon rating, AFUE tells you how efficiently the furnace converts fuel (gas or oil) into heat.
An AFUE of 80% means that 80% of the fuel is used to heat your building, while the other 20% basically goes up the chimney. The government mandated a minimum AFUE rating for furnaces installed in new buildings is 78%. (In contrast, many furnaces manufactured before 1992 had AFUE ratings as low as 60% — so nearly half the fuel was being wasted.) Furnaces with AFUE ratings of 78% to 80% are considered "mid-efficiency"; those with ratings of 90% or higher are known as "high efficiency." The maximum furnace efficiency available is around 96.6%.
First, determine the efficiency rating of your existing furnace
If you have an older furnace (with an AFUE of about 60%), you could save up to 60% on your heating bills by replacing it with a new high-efficiency furnace. So the cost to replace your old, inefficient furnace is paid back through lower utility bills.
The Payback: If you live in a cold climate like here in Battle Creek, you could see a payback in a few short years.
We'd be happy to discuss this using heating data from our area to help you determine about how long it would take you to recover the additional cost of a high-efficiency model in energy savings. (Of course, after the payback, you continue to save on your energy bills for the life of the system.)
Second, schedule a furnace tune up or what some people call a cleaning. the Environmental Protection Agency's EnergyStar program says that a heating and air conditioning maintenance plan can pay for itself in energy savings alone.
Imagine if you had a low efficiency furnace that was underperforming. Yikes!