The question always come up, what’s the differences in 80% standard and 96% high efficient furnaces and should I buy a high efficient furnace? Gas-fired furnace efficiency is expressed by a unit’s AFUE percentage. (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) this represents the percentage of fuel consumed by a furnace that actually contributes to useable heat versus the amount lost in the combustion process. A standard-efficiency 80 percent furnace, 20 percent of the heat energy contained in the natural gas is exhausted up the furnace vent. A high efficient furnace with an AFUE of 96% or above incorporates a secondary heat exchanger to recover that lost energy. Combustion gases are diverted into a condensing phase and heat released as the gases condense to water is extracted by the secondary exchanger. This boosts the furnace AFUE percentage and lowers operating costs.
Both types of furnaces come with the options of standard single stage or upgraded two stage heating options. Both have either multi speed blower motor or variable speed blower motor models as well. A variable speed blower motor will use roughly 1/3 of the electricity of a standard multi speed motor and can make your home more comfortable. (call for details)
The high efficient furnaces also have a different installation process. A standard efficiency furnace draws air for the burner flame from the home’s interior. This dries out the normal humidity in household air and contributes to winter dry-air, such as scratchy skin sore throat and static electricity shocks. It may also pose a health hazard from carbon monoxide if a Back Draft condition develops that pushes combustion gases back into living spaces instead of up the exhaust vent. A high efficiency furnace has a combustion chamber that is completely sealed from the house. Combustion air is drawn through an inlet PVC pipe routed to the outdoors, and gases are exhausted through a separate PVC pipe. Back Drafting risks are eliminated and household humidity is helped.
The price of a 96% furnace can cost $1,300 more than a standard 80% furnace. But Pay-backs can come quickly depending on the regions where winters are especially harsh.
While that additional cost can generally be recouped in lower fuel bills over the lifetime of the furnace, this may not be the most cost effective approach for all homeowners. If you have any intention of selling your home shortly after purchase, you will lose money on the investment, as there is a payback period of 5 to 8 years in some cases. 96% furnaces are also directly affected by how well your home retains heat; the cost of natural gas and the square footage of the home when it comes to saving money.
Xcel Energy offers rebates when homeowners install a high efficiency furnace 95% or higher. Depending on the model of furnace that you choose, the rebate ranges from $750 to $850 for a limited time. Gustafson Heating and Air will fill out all the paperwork and send it in for you and rebates are mailed directly to you. Call us TODAY for a FREE home estimate! to see which furnace is right for your family.