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Thanks to our government making our environment a priority, the development of new and exciting technology, and an overall higher consciousness on the part of the consumer, we’ve made some big strides in the HVAC industry when it comes to being environmentally responsible. New products like high-efficiency furnaces and air conditioners are using our resources more wisely and emitting less waste into the air.
Older furnaces, those manufactured in the 1970s and 80s, are typically only rated at 65% efficiency compared to today’s models that must have a minimum rating of at least 78%, but can be as high as 98% efficient. The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE is a rating given to furnaces based on the percentage of fuel that is turned into heat and the amount that goes out the flue. A furnace with an AFUE of 98% uses 98% of the fuel for heat and only releases 2% into the environment. These efficiencies are gained through better technology including sealed combustion, condensing (exhaust gases are run through a second heat exchanger to remove all the heat possible), improved gas valves, variable speed motors, and electronic spark ignition which only lights the pilot light when needed.
High-Efficiency Air Conditioners
High-efficiency air conditioners also use less fuel and are more eco friendly. Central air conditioners are rated for efficiency by a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) and energy efficiency ratio (EER). New Energy Star rated models are about 14% more efficient than standard units. Another area in which the government has taken a hard stance is the refrigerant used in air conditioners. The US government has banned the production of R-22, sometimes known as Freon, and has severely limited its use because it was proven to cause damage to the ozone layer. All new air conditioning units are manufactured for use with the more environmentally friendly refrigerant and old units are being phased out because they are not compatible with the new refrigerant.
Lower Energy Bills
Besides being better for the environment, there is another upside to these new models. Because they are more energy efficient, you should see some significant savings on your energy bills. You’ll save 25-30% on heating and cooling bills depending on which system you replace. If you replace both, you’ll save on both year round. The savings really add up and you’ll have those savings for as long as you live in that home. If you need to replace your furnace or air conditioner soon, call us and an expert Getzschman Heating technician will help you decide on the unit that’s right for you and your budget. We have excellent financing options to make it easy on your wallet.