Today, it is very easy to “go green’, conserve energy, and reduce your carbon footprint by using more energy efficient products. Modern furnaces are more reliable and energy efficient than ever before, especially if you opt for condensing gas furnaces.
Unfortunately, many homes continue to use outdated, inefficient furnaces to heat up their homes, resulting in high energy bills. Replacing an old furnace, or implementing energy saving furnace measures, will help protect the environment and save you money.
Determining Furnace Efficiency
The energy efficiency of a furnace is determined by calculating the Annual Fuel Utilisation Efficiency (AFUE) score, which is displayed on all energy efficient furnaces. This number demonstrates the amount of fuel that is converted into heat conveyed via the furnace. The higher the score (percentage), the more heat it can generate from its source of fuel, and the lower the environmental impact of its emissions.
Comparing old and new, high-efficiency furnaces reveals that the old models waste about 25% of their fuel by sending it up a chimney. High efficiency models, on the other hand, are capable of utilizing up to 95% of their fuel to generate useful heat.
Upgrading an Old Furnace
Research shows that an average home using an old gas furnace with 56% AFUE can save up to 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year by upgrading to a gas furnace with 90% AFUE score. If the house uses an oil heater, the same upgrade could lead to savings of up 2.5 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
As mentioned before, condensing gas furnaces are currently the most energy-efficient furnaces on the market with an AFUE of between 90 and 97%, with 33 to 38% less energy consumption than old models.
Change the Furnace Air Filter
Whether you have an old or new furnace, you can improve and maintain its energy performance by changing the unit’s air filter every month during high-use periods; though no data is available on exactly how much savings you can achieve.
Finally, Look for the Energy Star Symbol
The Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency promotes the international ENERGY STAR symbol in Canada. This symbol identifies products that use less energy, and is usually placed on the furnace or its packaging material. Purchasing a furnace with the ENERGY STAR symbol will help you save money and protect the environment, because it has an AFUE rating of over 90.