If you’ve been shopping for energy-efficient furnaces, it’s an excellent time to make your move toward higher fuel efficiency, enhanced component performance and safety features that help you relax in comfort and enjoy the rewards of lower heating bills. Learn how these components make high-efficiency furnaces a smart choice.
Energy-efficient furnaces deliver fuel-to-heat conversion efficiency (annual fuel utilization efficiency) of 90 percent and higher. That tops mid-efficiency and old inefficient furnaces by up to 30 percent, or as much as 30 cents on every energy dollar. These are some of the improved components, features and their functions:
A thermostat calls for heat, which turns on the modulating gas valve. The modulating gas valve provides precise heating increments between 40 and 100 percent capacity.
Replacing the standing pilot light, electronic ignition (direct spark or hot surface) ignites the gas, coupled with a remote sensor to monitor the flame.
Heat fills a redesigned, compact heat exchanger for faster and more efficient heat transfer. Constructed of aluminized or stainless steel, the heat exchanger resists corrosion and thermal fatigue.
A variable-capacity electronically commutated motor offers the ultimate in blower motor efficiency. ECMs use substantially less electricity than conventional blower motors. ECMs experience less heat and friction and provide quieter operation. In conjunction with the modulating gas valve, ECMs deliver smooth heated airflow regulated to precisely match changing heating requirements at any given moment.
An insulated blower compartment provides quieter furnace operation.
Many high-efficiency furnaces are outfitted with whole-house humidifier and electronic air cleaner connections.
On-board diagnostics track performance for easier troubleshooting.
A two-stage induced draft motor safely removes exhaust gases from your home, reducing the chance for back-drafting.
If you need more incentive, recently restored tax credits are available for high-efficiency furnaces (gas, oil or propane) that reach 95 percent AFUE, or higher. The tax credit covers 10 percent of the cost, up to $150.