What Makes A Furnace Energy Efficient?

What Makes A Fur­nace Energy Efficient?


a high effeciency furnace is placed in a Missouri home

Curi­ous what makes your fur­nace energy effi­cient?  Alot of things.  Before you con­sider the need to replace your fur­nace with a cheap model, con­sider what’s writ­ten below.  It just may change your mind!  Now, on to what makes fur­naces “effi­cient” in the first place!

In gen­eral, there’s a few things that fac­tor into energy effi­ciency.  Most energy-efficient fur­naces have a great layer of insulation.Some fur­naces lose heat through the inner walls of their cab­i­net.  Super Energy-efficient fur­naces can really reduce this loss by blan­ket­ing the inner lin­ing with a thick coat of insulation.

Most will fea­ture a great blower as well, like a draft blower that works in con­junc­tion with a hot sur­face igni­tion sys­tem, pulling gasses up through the heat exchanger.  This helps con­trol the rate of flow, keep­ing it con­sis­tent.  The draft blower only works some of the day, cycling on and off, but over time it saves energy.  Newer fur­naces use vent com­bus­tion by-products, which allows hot air to rise nat­u­rally through the HVAC sys­tem. It’s a key for all energy effi­cient furnaces.

Even some­thing as innocu­ous as a pilot light cam be waste­ful over time. Newer fur­naces use an igni­tion key or switch, reduc­ing the need for a con­stantly burn­ing pilot light. Accord­ing the Rheem web­site, this fea­ture alone can decrease a homes energy usage by nearly 6%.   When used in com­bi­na­tion with a good draft blower, it can improve your fur­naces effi­ciency by more than 20%!

Even in humid cli­mates like here in Colum­bia,  effi­cient fur­naces will tap the energy pro­vided by hot gases — the vent gasses which can reach tem­per­a­tures of 500 degrees Fahren­heit or higher. This is a crit­i­cal step to cap­ture heat that oth­er­wise would be lost to waste.  Instead, its used to pre­heat your home’s air.  It’s hard to gauge the over­all value of this func­tion, but it’s para­mount to savings.

Not sur­pris­ingly, really great energy effi­cient fur­naces will gen­er­ally carry a hand­some price tag, but they make up the dif­fer­ence by reduc­ing energy costs dras­ti­cally dur­ing the cold months.  In cli­mates like this, where win­ters can be harsh, you may recoup the cost of the sys­tem ver­sus a low-efficiency sys­tem in just a few years.

If you have ques­tions about high-efficiency fur­naces for your home or need the ser­vices of a local plumber, please give us a call at 573–449-7050!

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