How High Energy Efficiency Furnaces Save Homeowners Money

Posted: 2018-02-02

Technological advancements allow modern high-efficiency furnaces to consume 30 percent less fuel compared to older furnaces, most of which run at an efficiency rate of 75 percent or less.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, more efficient models are required in the U.S. North Region due to the colder climate and greater number of heating degree days.

If your furnace is nearing the end of its life, you need to consider getting a replacement. Since Minnesota is in the U.S. North region, it is wise to invest in a high-efficiency furnace.

You will need professional help in choosing the right furnace. This is where Four Seasons Air Specialists can help. We are a trusted heating company in Shoreview, MN that offers some of the world’s best furnace manufacturers to provide you with a wide variety of high-efficiency furnaces.

Understanding the Energy Efficiency of Furnaces

The efficiency of a furnace is measured by annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE), which is a measure of how efficient the system is when it comes to converting the energy in its fuel to heat over the course of a typical year. (Source:

A furnace is considered a high-efficiency model if it has an efficiency rating of 90 percent AFUE, which means that 90 percent of the fuel becomes heat for the home and the 10 percent escapes up the chimney or in other places. Bear in mind though that AFUE doesn’t include the heat loss due to leaky ducts which can be as much as 35 percent of the energy for output of the furnace when the ducts are located in partially or unconditioned space such as the attic or garage.

Why Upgrade to an Energy-Efficient Furnace

The U.S. government particularly offers a federal tax credit of up to 30 percent, or up to $1500 if you purchase and have a high-efficiency furnace installed in your home.

While it is true that lower efficiency furnaces are less expensive, this tax credit can make up for the price difference, should you decide to go with a high-efficiency heating system.

Most high-efficiency furnaces have the ENERGY STAR® label. ENERGY STAR products are the same or better than standard products, only they use less energy. To earn the ENERGY STAR label, furnaces must meet strict energy efficiency criteria set by the US Environmental Protection Agency or the US Department of Energy. Since they use less energy, these products save you money on your electricity bill and help protect the environment by causing fewer harmful emissions from power plants; and you get the features and quality you expect.

All models that meet the ENERGY STAR product specifications are "condensing" furnaces. This technology takes advantage of normally exhausted heat in the furnace's flue gas to improve efficiency. 

In addition to improving efficiency, high-efficiency furnaces are safer since they utilize a sealed combustion system. The supply lines, combustion chambers, and flues are sealed from the inside of homes thus preventing exhaust gases from leaking or being back-drafted into occupied spaces. Due to these features, condensing furnaces require slight modifications with installation and are usually more expensive than standard-efficiency models. However, their increased efficiency means they typically last longer, compared to furnaces with lower AFUE ratings.

Benefits of High-Efficiency Furnaces

Lower Fuel Consumption

High-efficiency gas furnaces incorporate an electronic ignition technology. Unlike a constantly burning pilot light, an electronic ignition is only activated when the furnace is in use, resulting in less wasted fuel.

Better Performance

High-efficiency furnaces use a second heat exchanger to catch much of the heat that would usually escape up the chimney.

Multi-speed and variable-speed blowers decrease electric use by matching the blower speed to the heating requirements of the room.

Improved Indoor Air Quality

Most condensing furnaces incorporate a high-efficiency air filtration system to improve indoor air quality, giving you a safer home environment.

Choose the Right High-Efficiency Furnace with the Experts

Call Four Seasons Air Specialists for professional assistance in selecting the best heating system for your home. A highly efficient furnace will not save energy or money if it is not properly installed. 

Our technicians install furnaces in accordance with the ENERGY STAR Quality Installation (QI) guidelines so you’ll be guaranteed your new furnace will operate at peak performance.

Call us for Shoreview furnace replacement and any other heating and cooling needs.