Cost and efficiency are two of the biggest things to consider when replacing or upgrading your heating system. If your old furnace suddenly stopped working or would cost too much to repair, you need to make a decision quickly, but that doesn’t mean that you should rush out and commit to purchasing the first available model. Taking the time to learn about efficiency ratings, utility rebates, and financing options can help control the initial cost and reduce your utility bills for the next 20 years. Selecting a new furnace is a big decision. Follow this buying guide to make the right choice.
Furnace Efficiency Ratings
As of January 1, 2015, minimum efficiency ratings for gas and oil furnaces are increasing slightly. Today, most furnaces are between 78 and 98 percent efficient. All furnaces have annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings that measure how much fuel becomes heat. With an AFUE rating of 98 percent, a high-efficiency furnace only loses 2 percent of potential heat. Systems like this are typically condensing furnaces that use a secondary heat exchanger to capture energy that would otherwise escape through the chimney. AFUE ratings measure the conversion from energy to heat, but they don’t account for energy losses related to leaky or poorly insulated ducts. That’s where good installation practices help.
Utility Rebates and Incentives
A utility rebate is one thing that can reduce the cost of a new furnace. In Alexandria, Washington Gas offers utility rebates up to $200 on more than 60 qualifying furnaces from Bryant. These systems have efficiency ratings between 92 and 98 percent. If you live in another part of northern Virginia, check with your local utility company to see if incentives are available.
At Commonwealth Cooling & Heating, we offer financing and special discounts on new HVAC systems. Factory financing can help you afford a new furnace and give you time to pay. Plus, you may qualify for deferred interest if the purchase is paid in full within the promotional period. If you want to get creative, you can reduce your cost burden by paying for the system using a major credit card that offers airline miles, cash back or rewards.
If you want to purchase a new furnace solely to improve your home’s energy efficiency, you may have other options, such as retrofitting an older furnace and upgrading heating components. Our technicians will be glad to complete a furnace inspection to see if your system is working as well as it should. Don’t overlook the importance of HVAC maintenance. A simple tune-up can prevent breakdowns, improve efficiency and prolong the life of new or existing equipment.
If you’re ready to upgrade to a new heating system, have our experienced HVAC technicians inspect your home and create a personalized estimate detailing equipment and installation costs. Call us today to learn more or to request information about discounts and special offers.