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How Much Will a High Efficiency Furnace Save Me?

How Much Will a High Efficiency Furnace Save Me?A high efficiency furnace can save you money. Maybe. Then again, it may not. While the top-of-the-line furnaces may boast an annual fuel-utilization efficiency (AFUE) of 96 percent, losing only 4 percent of its energy, factors can come into play to greatly decrease their efficiency. Let’s pretend, for the moment, that it’s a perfect world with no foul factors at play and estimate your potential savings.

Your Furnace Decision

Let’s say you need a new furnace and are debating between a $2,000 furnace with 80 percent AFUE and a $3,000 high efficiency furnace with 96 percent AFUE. Say the price includes installation and related costs.

Your Annual Heating Bill

Pretend it would take 500 therms each year to heat your Denver home with the 80 percent AFUE furnace, and the cost of each therm is $1. Your annual heating bill with the 80 percent AFUE furnace would be $500.

Decrease the bill by 16 percent to account for the high efficiency furnace’s rating of 96 percent AFUE. You save an annual $80, for a yearly heating bill of $420.

Other Furnace Related Costs

You still have to account for the cost of the new furnace and its expected lifespan. The 80 percent AFUE furnace costs $2,000. Comparable high efficiency models typically run about $1,000 to $1,200 more than their less efficient cousins. As noted, we’re estimating your 96 percent AFUE furnace costs $3,000.

Now calculate the 15-year cost of each furnace, inclusive of your annual heating bill. Do this by multiplying your annual heating bill by 15 and adding the cost of the furnace.

The furnace with 80 percent AFUE would cost a total of $9,500 to heat your Denver home for the next 15 years.

The high efficiency furnace with 96 percent AFUE would cost $9,300.

The high efficiency furnace wins, no? Not so fast.

Foul Factors at Play

The aforementioned foul factors that can come into play include a shoddy installation job.  Poor installation issues can effect both systems. Stats say nearly half the new HVAC equipment installed in U.S. homes don’t work up to their full potential due to poor installation. Leaky ducts, improper air volume and the wrong size equipment are part of the equation, so make sure you opt for a quality HVAC pro to install your new furnace to reap the full benefits and savings it may bring.

If you have further questions about high efficiency furnaces, Indoor Air Quality would be glad to help.  Contact Us Today.

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