Submitted by: Barron Heating
Cheese, wine, a drop top Chevy…so many things get better with age. Unfortunately, your furnace isn’t one of them.
That good ol’ boy in the garage has been keeping you toasty since the 90s. And it still works great…or does it? Does your furnace need frequent repairs? Is it noisy? Do you experience hot and cold spots throughout your home? How about your energy bills—do they demand more than their fair share of your paycheck every month?
Furnaces of yesterday can be a real energy hog. Many are grossly oversized and quickly blast warm air when prompted by the thermostat. Couple that with outdated venting methods which can allow heat to escape even when the unit isn’t operating, and your comfort can be really compromised. This sort of improperly working equipment and old technology can present a range of challenges for your home—the biggest being inefficiency.
The effectiveness of your central heating system is measured by AFUE, or “annual fuel utilization efficiency.” This is an equation that takes several factors into consideration; but the key point to remember is the higher the AFUE, the more efficiently the unit operates. Now let’s have a little fun with the math and what this can mean for your wallet!
Another way to think of AFUE is to recognize it really measures not only what is captured and sent to your ducts to heat your home, but more importantly what you’re wasting. An 80% “efficient” furnace means you are, in fact, wasting 20% of the energy you’ve paid for (only 80% is captured and sent into to the duct system). In dollars and cents, that means $0.20 of every dollar you spend on heating literally goes up the flue.
A second factor impacting total efficiency, and your pocketbook, is duct leakage. Houses built before the 2000s, and especially those built before 1990, did not use the modern standards for duct construction that today’s stricter regulations require. As a result, it is common to see duct systems in older homes with leakage of 25-40%. What does that mean?
Here’s a little more of that math: take an 80% furnace, pump that air into a duct system losing 25-40% of it’s air into the crawlspaces and attics (the uninsulated parts of your home), and now that old 80% and the effective AFUE could be as low as 60%, perhaps even less than 50%. Finally, tack on a lack of regular maintenance, and the AFUE can drop an additional one percent every year.
Yikes! It doesn’t take a slide rule to calculate that $0.40 to $0.50 of every single heating dollar you’re currently spending is being wasted and making a fix can quickly add up to significant savings. Step into the high-efficiency furnaces of today and see the difference add up. Modern units can achieve efficiency ratings as high as 98.5%—putting the energy you’re paying for right where it’s needed, and the dollars back in your wallet. And don’t forget to Aeroseal (air duct sealing) those ducts to make sure you’re doubling down on the effectiveness.
So, are you ready to say goodbye to your relic? Barron Heating’s Pay Back Program is on, making now the perfect time to take the leap. Trade in your old model for a new, high-efficiency furnace and you can earn up to $1,000 dollars in combined savings. Much like “Cash for Clunkers,” the older the furnace, the more you’ll save!
Start off 2020 right. Make an investment in your family and home with a new, high-efficiency furnace and stop wasting those valuable dollars and cents today! Good things really do come to those who wait—but don’t wait too long. Barron’s Pay Back Program is going on now through January 31. As your Pacific Northwest home and building performance experts since 1972, we stand by Our Mission: Improving Lives™.