How a High-Efficiency Furnace May Fail to Reach Its Potential

How a High-Efficiency Furnace May Fail to Reach Its PotentialIs it time to replace your old furnace, and you’re considering installing a high-efficiency furnace for better comfort, lower heating bills and a nice return on investment. If so, use this guide to better understand why a high-performance system is only as efficient as the indoor environment in which it’s installed.

Forced-Air Systems

Your new high-efficiency furnace is but one component of the forced-air system within the home. The forced-air system consists of the ductwork, thermostat controls and duct add-on components that affect comfort, efficiency and/or indoor-air quality, such as whole-house dehumidifiers, zoning and UV-light systems.

All of these correlative components must work together efficiently to maintain balanced air pressure and free airflow through the living spaces and ductwork, in order to maximize furnace performance.

Sealing Your Home’s Envelope

The performance of your high-efficiency furnace largely depends on the heating load placed on it. In fact, a new furnace should be sized by taking into account various factors that contribute to the heating load, such as airtightness and insulation levels.

The best way to reduce the heating load placed on the furnace is to conduct an energy audit to identify air leaks and insulation deficiencies in the home’s envelope. Following the energy audit, your HVAC professional will seal up cracks and gaps around doors and windows, the attic, basement and exterior walls.

Once your home is sealed up, insulation upgrades are performed, if needed, to boost levels to recommended R-values. Your buttoned-up home will keep heat inside longer, which reduces the amount of time and fuel required of your furnace to heat it.

Furnace Installation Checklist

To make easy work of your furnace upgrade, and to create an indoor environment that promotes peak performance from your high-efficiency furnace, use this simple checklist:

  • Professional home energy audit
  • Home-efficiency upgrades (sealing and insulation)
  • Calculate heat gain/loss
  • Size the new high-efficiency furnace and the ductwork
  • Professional furnace installation
  • Take advantage of incentives for high-efficiency systems

For help in the greater Portland area with high-efficiency furnace installation, preventive maintenance and home-efficiency evaluations, please contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about High-Efficiency Furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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