Furnace repairs rate up there with car repairs in terms of frustration and inconvenience. If you’ve had enough with a troublesome furnace, it could be time for a furnace upgrade. One of the first things that pops into a homeowner’s mind is the expense involved in upgrading, and that’s true, both for short-term expenses versus long-term energy savings.
The furnaces available today are much more efficient and longer-lasting than furnaces manufactured several years ago. If you have an older furnace, there’s a good chance that the AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating is around 60 to 65 percent. Contrast that to a high-efficiency furnace with a 90 to 97 rating — meaning that for every $1 of energy consumed, 97 cents is converted into heat for your home and only 3 cents is wasted. An upgrade over a furnace with an AFUE rating of 60 to 65 means substantial savings over the long term.
If you have decided on a furnace upgrade, there are other factors and features you’ll need to consider. Correctly sizing a new furnace is just as important to energy savings and longevity as the AFUE rating. It’s not as simple as just replacing your old furnace with the exact same size new one. Many old furnaces are too large, wasting energy and causing excessive wear. It’s vital to have your home evaluated by a heating and cooling technician to correctly size your new furnace. The technician should calculate your home’s design for layout, square footage, the number and orientation of windows to sun exposure, the number of levels, check insulation and sealing, and perform a heat loss calculation.
If you’ve decided that you want total energy efficiency and comfort for your home, take a look at furnace features like variable-speed blower motors. These motors provide heat at a lower velocity for more even heating, less wear on parts, better air filtering, and last longer.
Call Roth Heating & Cooling at (503) 994-9924 to discuss your furnace options with a heating and cooling professional. We’ve helped Portland-area residents stay comfortable for more than 35 years.