Energy Star Furnaces & Home Heating Systems

As with a boiler, your home heating furnace is one piece of equipment you'll want to operate as efficient as it can. Skyrocketing prices of gas and oil make energy efficient units a very feasible investment that pays for itself, more now than ever before, in a much shorter period of time. If ever there was a time to upgrade an old or inefficient home furnace, this is it.

Energy Efficient Furnace Heating Systems

Exactly like Energy Star home boilers, the EPA's program compares furnaces against each other through the use of an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. Any oil or gas furnace qualifying for the Energy Star seal must have extremely high ratings: 83% or higher for oil models, and a whopping 90% or greater for gas units. This means that for every dollar spent on home heating using these units, 83 to 90 cents is returned as energy back into the home. Energy Star models are therefore up to 15% more efficient in comparison with other units of the same type.

Energy Saving Tips - Home Furnace Heating Forced hot-air furnaces 20 years or older often have an AFUE rating of below 60%, costing hundreds or even thousand of dollars per year in lost heating costs!

Furnace technology has advanced rapidly in recent years as well. New high-efficiency furnace models are sold that feature a secondary heat-exchanger instead of just one. Through the use of the double exchange system even more water is evaporated the second time, pulling nearly all the available heat from the system to be used in heating your home. Automatic vent dampers and the use of electronic (instead of constant flame) pilot lights are welcome new features that improve combustion quality and reduce wasted gas and energy.

As is the case for any home heating or cooling product, correct sizing of the system to the structure is probably the single most significant aspect of choosing the right furnace. Having too much heat in too little space will be costly, and having too little output will be even more costly as the themostat will always be calling the unit to produce continuous heat. Programmable thermostats can help reduce utility costs by regulating temperatures at times when homeowners are out working or sleeping, but they can do nothing to help an overtaxed or mismatched heating system.

Only a trained HVAC technician or qualified builder can tell you exactly how many BTU's you'll need to heat your home. When purchasing an efficient or Energy Star approved furnace, consult with these professionals before buying. A good HVAC specialist will spec out the layout of your home's ductwork, the positioning of air vents, and the general airflow of the home through doorways and adjacent room openings. There are dozens of other factors to consider as well that the average homeowner has no way of knowing about, but by taking these into consideration during installation of your new furnace, the result will be hundreds of dollars in saved utility bills over the lifetime of the unit.

The Energy Saving Importance of a Good Building Envelope

No matter how energy efficient your heating system or furnace, money in the form of heat will flow through your windows, doors, and out the roof of your home unless you have a good, tight building envelope. Heat can escape a home in any number of ways, but the implementation of a few good insulation practices can reap large benefits when the gas or oil bill shows up. Radiant barriers can reflect heat back into a home, and can be wrapped around existing heat pipes and ductwork for full effect. But in a forced hot air furnace system, perhaps the most important aspect of all would be good duct-sealing techniques. Metal sealing tape and mastic supplies can be used to eliminate most holes and leaks in standard aluminum air ducts, and is most important at the vents and registers where such fittings might be loose. By taking a day out of your weekend to ensure you've got a tight, leak-proof airflow, you can save yourself a lot of money and energy in the long run. On top of it, you'll be preventing global warming and helping environmental pollution levels too.

Furnace Manufacturers with Models Acheiving Energy Star Status

Energy Star qualified furnaces must meet and maintain strict efficiency standards. The list below shows some of the more popular major manufacturers of furnace products, as well as the number of Energy Star units they currently produce. This list may be incomplete, so use it only as a guide when shopping for your home heating or HVAC needs.

American Std.
Armstrong Air
Climate Energy
Crown Bolter
ECR International
Excel Comfort
Heat Controller
International C.
- 6 models
- 18 models
- 1 model
- 21 models
- 2 models
- 2 models
- 3 models
- 4 models
- 39 models
- 17 models
- 42 models
Lennox Indust.
Texas Furnace
Thermo Products
York Int.
- 10 models
- 26 models
- 1 model
- 19 models
- 8 models
- 7 models
- 8 models
- 8 models
- 16 models

Energy Star Furnace Cash Rebates and Tax Credit Incentives

Search by Zip Code for Furnace Rebates and Tax Savings

The Energy Star program offers great ways to save money on utility bills. To promote green building practices, the US government backs it up in the form of state and Federal rebates and tax incentives. Homeowners purchasing certain energy efficient furnaces may qualify for these refunds, sometimes in cash. Check Energy Star's link above by entering your own zip code and checking to see what's available near you.

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