Are New Furnaces More Efficient? A Comprehensive Insight


Rima Chatterjee

Understanding the Need for Furnace Upgrade


Do you want to reduce your heating bills? Upgrade your old furnace to a new and efficient one.

Newer models have an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of up to 98 percent, meaning they use almost all of the fuel for heat. Older units have a rating of 80 percent or less, resulting in waste and higher bills. Moreover, multi-stage furnaces with variable-speed blowers are more efficient than single-stage. Plus, high-efficiency electric furnaces can reduce bills if natural gas is not available.

Are New Furnaces More Efficient

Image: Comparison of old furnace with new compact design furnace

Before making any decisions, it’s important to consider house insulation, ductwork size, and the age of your system. Call a licensed contractor who understands HVAC systems before making any repairs or replacements.

Factors Affecting Furnace Efficiency


Furnace efficiency is a big worry for homeowners. Upgrading to a newer, more efficient furnace can bring big savings on bills. Here are factors that affect furnace efficiency:

  1. Age of Furnace – Older units are less efficient.
  2. Size of Furnace – The right size for your home will improve energy use.
  3. Type of Furnace – Gas furnaces are more efficient and cheaper than electric ones.
  4. AFUE Rating – The higher the rating, the better the furnace is at turning fuel into heat.
  5. Maintenance & Repairs – Poor maintenance or repairs will reduce efficiency.
  6. Heating Contractor – They need to provide accurate load calculations and estimates.
  7. Ductwork & Insulation – Poor insulation and ducts lead to energy loss.
  8. Heat Exchanger integrity – Cracks in furnaces can release dangerous emissions.
  9. Speed Blower – This helps adjust energy usage as per heating needs.

Upgrading an old furnace may at first seem like an unnecessary expense, but it can end up saving money in the long run. A new efficient furnace will use less fuel or electricity and thus lower bills. When making a decision, consider these factors for an informed choice that meets your needs and saves energy costs.

Furnace Efficiency Ratings


Furnace efficiency ratings are key when it comes to saving energy and money. When considering a new furnace, take into account its Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. This measures how efficiently fuel is converted to heat. The higher the AFUE, the more energy efficient and economical the unit is.

Are New Furnaces More Efficient

Apart from efficiency and lower bills, there are other aspects to consider when upgrading your heating system. These include 

  • Sizing the furnace according to your local climate
  • Insulation levels, ductwork layout
  • Proper load calculation. 

All these factors affect comfort and costs.

The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating of Old vs New Furnace unit

Furnace technology has evolved over decades due to environmental concerns. King Heating launched King Furnaces in the late 90s. They have multi-stage furnaces, modulating gas valves, two-speed blower motors, and high-tech heat exchangers. These make them more durable and give better performance than older units, benefiting both homeowners and nature.

Pros and Cons of Upgrading to a New Furnace


Upgrading to a new furnace may save money on energy bills. Consider the pros and cons before making a decision.

ProsCons
Newer furnaces are much more efficient than old models, reducing energy costs.The initial cost of purchasing and installing a new furnace can be pricey.
A new furnace has better safety featureUpgrading to a larger unit will waste energy and increase utility bills.
Switching from electric to gas can save fuel costs.Old air ducts or insulation may need repairs.
Furnace upgrades can improve home comfort.In rare cases, upgrading may not produce energy savings.
New furnace installations often come with warranties.An old unit may last longer than some new models.
  • Research before calling a heating contractor. Choose a furnace that fits your area and heating needs. 
  • The AFUE rating measures percent efficiency from annual fossil fuel consumption for natural gas furnaces.
  •  Design, system/ductwork issues, and annual maintenance or repairs must be taken into account. 
  • A professional heating contractor is essential. Consider King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing for HVAC Contractors.

The EPA says, “Older furnaces have AFUE ratings between 56% and 70%, with many units still in use today being as low as 55 percent.” This shows that upgrading to newer models can lead to significant energy savings and fewer emissions. Calculate if upgrading your furnace is a royal win or a costly mistake.

Calculating Energy Savings and ROI


When upgrading your furnace, look at potential energy savings and return on investment (ROI). New furnaces bring significant differences to utility bills. 

Insulation levels, air duct age, and repairs needed on your old unit are other factors to consider. For accurate estimates, contact a professional heating contractor.

Keep in mind the AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating of the new furnace. This rating measures natural gas or electricity use for heating. Look for models with high AFUE ratings for maximum energy efficiency and savings.

Choosing the Right Furnace for Your Home


Are you ready to upgrade your home’s heating system? Choosing the right furnace can make a big difference in your energy bills and overall comfort. Here’s what to consider when making your decision:

FactorDescription
Size and EfficiencyGet the size that fits your heating needs. Consider energy efficiency too.
Furnace TypesElectric or gas? Or maybe a heat pump if you need cooling too.
Furnace UpgradesNew furnace may need air ducts, insulation, or repair of old units.
Costs and SavingsHigh-efficiency furnaces cost more upfront, but save long-term.
Maintenance and WarrantyWarranties are a must! Schedule yearly maintenance for smooth running.

Don’t just buy the newest furnace model. Do a load calculation to determine size. Age and insulation of the current furnace should also be considered. Keep in mind energy efficiency when comparing furnace types and models. Home heating is one of the biggest household expenses. High-efficiency furnaces can save up to 20 percent on their annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. 

Are New Furnaces More Efficient

Image: Different kinds of furnace 

Conclusion


Upgrading your furnace may seem like a challenge. But it is a choice that can save you cash on bills and give you more comfort. More modern, more efficient furnaces can help reduce your energy costs and help the environment. When deciding on a new furnace, consider factors such as your home’s size, heating needs, and insulation levels. A professional HVAC contractor can help you pick the right size and type of unit. Think about the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of the furnace. High efficiency furnaces have an AFUE rating of 90 percent or higher. A new furnace also comes with a warranty. It gives you extra protection in case of breakdowns or repairs. Don’t wait until winter to upgrade your furnace. Fall is the best time for this decision. Heating contra

About the author

Debarghya Roy: A heating systems author, Passionate about energy efficiency and sustainability, Sharing insights and empowering readers through informative blog articles.