The most common heating system still used in the United States today is the furnace. Today’s furnaces are more energy efficient and reliable than ever before. However, many homes still have outdated, inefficient furnaces keeping families warm. Replacing your furnace or simply enacting energy saving furnace measures will save you money and protect the environment.
While there are many types of furnaces to choose from, we recommend those that are Energy Star qualified. These energy efficient furnaces give off less greenhouse gas emissions than standard furnace models. If one out of ten homes had an Energy Star furnace, we would save the equivalent of the emissions from 1.3 million* cars. This would help to reduce global warming and improve the quality of our air.
Change Your Furnace Air Filter
Whatever your type of furnace, you can improve the unit’s energy performance. One measure you can take is to change your furnace’s air filter every month during high-use periods. While the data is not precise enough to know just how much energy you can save by regularly changing the air filter, it will undoubtedly contribute to your furnace running more efficiently.
Energy Star furnaces have an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of 85% or better (ideally, you want a furnace that has a 90% or better rating), making them as much as 15% more efficient than other furnace models. For example, purchasing a condensing type gas furnace can help you save big on energy costs long term. Condensing type gas furnaces have a 90% to 97% AFUE rating**, maximizing the furnace’s performance and reducing your energy costs.
Tax Credits for New Energy Efficient Furnaces
Now is the time to replace your inefficient furnace and save on energy costs. The U.S. government is offering a 30%* federal tax credit, up to $1,500, on the purchase and installation of any energy efficient furnace. Take advantage of the energy tax credit and consistently save on energy costs in the long run. It’s important to note that this energy efficient tax credit applies to gas, propane and oil furnaces only, and not to electric furnaces.
When making the move to an energy efficient furnace, it’s important to hire a certified HVAC technician to install and maintain your furnace.To be sure that your heating and cooling contractor is well versed in energy efficiency, hire a RESNET Qualified ENERGYSMART Contractor. These technicians will be able to guide you on the size of furnace your home requires. Even an energy saving furnace that is too small or too large for your home can cut in to your energy bill savings. Simply consult your chosen HVAC technician for a little guidance before purchasing your energy friendly furnace.
Energy Assessment: The First Step to Energy Efficiency
It’s also highly recommended to have a RESNET Certified Home Energy Auditor come to your home and assess the dwelling for energy efficiency. An energy professional will be able to help you maximize your energy efficiency, saving you money on your energy bills for as long as you own the house.
*Figures sourced from www.energystar.gov
**Figures sourced from www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca