Cold days are approaching as summer draws to a close here in Portland. Wondering whether you can “weather” another winter of high heating costs, or if it’s time for a new high-efficiency furnace? Even if your furnace isn’t that old, upgrading to a higher efficiency system can really pay off. You do the math.
First consider the efficiency of your current furnace:
The best furnaces on the market today – condensing-type gas furnaces – are around 97 percent efficient. Although well-maintained furnaces have an average lifespan of 25 years, many older furnaces do not have anywhere near this kind of efficiency. On average, replacing your furnace will lower your heating bills by 20 percent.
To figure out if you want to go ahead with a new system, obtain last year’s fuel bills from your gas utility. Multiply last year’s bills by 20 percent, then divide that total into $3,000 – the average cost of buying and installing a new system. The total you come up with is the number of years it will take you to get back your investment and start saving outright. Also keep in mind that if natural gas prices go up, this will shorten the payback time.
Another thing to consider when thinking about investing in a new furnace is whether there are ways to reduce the amount of time you will need to use your furnace. For example, an energy audit might reveal inexpensive alternatives like replacing weatherstripping or adding insulation. You may also be able to upgrade your furnace itself by resealing your duct-work or replacing your pilot light with an electronic ignition.
Whether you need to perform routine maintenance on your furnace, or replace it entirely, remember that no one knows more about furnaces and energy saving upgrades in the Portland area than Roth Heating & Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical. Contact us for more information about furnaces or any of your other heating and cooling needs.