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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