AFUE and Selecting a Furnace for Installation

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

There are a few choices to make when it comes to selecting a furnace:

  • Type of furnace – combustion or electric
  • Type of fuel – oil, gas, propane or electricity

And: efficiency level.

The best way to assess how efficient a particular furnace will be is to review its AFUE rating. AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency, and it measures a gas furnace’s efficiency in converting fuel to energy. As an example, a furnace with an AFUE of 90% means that that particular furnace will generate 90 BTUs of heat for every unit of fuel that it burns. In other words, when this particular furnace operates, 10% of your fuel is lost to exhaust. Comparatively speaking, this is a pretty good AFUE rating. AFUE can range from the low 50s to the high 90s, so this is why it’s important to understand how AFUE works.

What AFUE Doesn’t Mean

Sometimes energy efficiency ratings like AFUE can be misinterpreted as being an indication that a certain type of furnace with a certain AFUE rating will heat your home better; this isn’t true. What AFUE tells you is that a furnace with an AFUE of 95% will heat your home the same as a furnace with an AFUE of 90% – the difference is that the furnace with the higher AFUE rating will heat your home for less money because it uses less fuel to accomplish the job.

So why not just purchase the furnace with the higher AFUE? With improved energy efficiency can come higher purchase cost: typically, the higher a furnace’s energy efficiency, the higher the cost of the unit. Working with a trained expert can help you determine how long it will take to recover the installation costs of a unit, based on its energy efficiency level. He/she does this by calculating how much you can save in energy costs based on the AFUE rating and comparing that to your installation costs. Taking the time to work on this calculation with your technician can help you save money in energy costs for the long-term.

If you need a new furnace installation in Roswell, don’t go it alone: call Cool Air Mechanical today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation experts!

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How Long Does Furnace Installation Take?

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Replacing your furnace is a great opportunity to increase your energy efficiency and comfort levels. Many times our technicians will ask how long it will take to install a new furnace. As long as your existing ductwork is intact and works correctly, it normally takes less than a day to replace an outdated furnace. However, there are decisions to be made before installation that can and should take some time.

Factors to Consider Before Installation

Combustion furnaces have an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years, so it’s important to make sure that you install a furnace that fits your needs and your home perfectly:

Size

Your home has specific heating needs, and these needs won’t be met if you install a system that is either too big or too small for your home. So how do properly size your furnace? By working with a trained professional on a heat load calculation. This calculation is comprised of things like:

  • Your home’s orientation
  • Levels of insulation
  • Floor plan
  • Number of occupants
  • Number and type of windows and doors
  • Square footage

Once the heat load calculation is done, you’ll know exactly what size furnace you’ll need to comfortable heat your home.

Type of Furnace

There are 2 main types of furnaces: electric and combustion. Combustion furnaces commonly use natural gas, but they can also use propane and oil. Electric furnaces can be good choices for homes that do not have immediate access to fossil fuels, or that don’t want to use a combustion system.

Energy Efficiency

Furnaces have become very energy efficient. The best way to check a furnace’s efficiency is to review its AFUE rating. The AFUE rating stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency, and it measures a furnace’s efficiency in converting fuel to energy. The higher AFUE rating, the greater energy efficiency of the furnace.

The installation of your furnace in Roswell should be the last step of a process conducted with a trained expert. Taking these steps helps ensure that you’ll install a new furnace that will heat your home as you need it to for years to come. Call Cool Air Mechanical today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation experts!

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What Are the Advantages of a Furnace Installation in Decatur?

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

A new furnace installation in Decatur can help you increase energy efficiency and comfort, all while offering a level of reliability that can last for years. But there are additional benefits to installing a new furnace, as we’ll outline below. Fall offers a great window of time in which to install a new furnace, and hiring experience professionals ensures that your installation will be done quickly, efficiently and correctly. If you are ready for a new furnace, call the people you can count on: Cool Air Mechanical.

Two Types of Furnaces

We carry two types of furnaces at Cool Air Mechanical: electric and gas. Each has its own way of operating and benefits:

Electric Furnaces

Electric furnaces use heating elements to heat air directly. A large intake fan at the bottom of the cabinet draws air into the cabinet and blows it over the hot coils. The newly-warmed air is then blown into the ductwork to your living spaces. Some of the benefits of an electric furnace are:

  • Very good energy efficiency – because electric furnaces do not burn fossil fuels, they can have an energy efficiency rating as high as 100%.
  • You do not need a gas line – some homes do not have access to a natural gas line, whereas electricity is widely available.
  • Safety – while no heating system is guaranteed to be 100% safe, there is no need to worry about toxic fumes with an electric furnace.
  • Clean – because an electric furnace doesn’t burn fuel to operate, the system stays clean, which is helpful when it comes to annual maintenance.

Gas Furnaces

Gas furnaces tap into the natural gas line near your home. The gas is fed into the combustion chamber where it meets with air and a flame erupts. This flame heats the heat exchanger, where the warm air is then blown into your home. Some of the benefits of a gas furnace are:

  • Fast, hot heat – gas heat is about 130 degrees. As such, it heats your home quickly.
  • Good energy efficiency – gas furnaces can have an energy efficiency rating as high as 98%.
  • Burns cleanly – gas burns the cleanest of any fossil fuels.

If you need help deciding what kind of furnace is best for your heating installation in Decatur, call Cool Air Mechanical today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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Atlanta Furnace Installation Tip: When is the Right Time?

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Here in Atlanta, we expect our furnaces to last a long time. Mild winters help reduce strain on the unit, and with reliable maintenance, you can extend its life well past its warranty date. Sooner or later, however, every major mechanical device needs replacing, and your furnace is no different. But the key question is: when is the right time? The answer varies according to your individual needs, but here’s a handy tip to help.

The issue boils down to up-front cost versus savings over time. A new furnace will likely save you money over your old one when it comes to month-to-month costs. They tend to be more efficient than older furnaces and make better use of energy-saving technology. All of that stands against the initial cost of installation, which obviously should be factored into your considerations.

In some cases, that cost might not be worth it, especially if your old unit is still working fine. If, however, your current furnace is costing you much more than you would like, then it’s probably time to think about a new one. Those costs can include monthly heating bills – which are likely to go up as worn components break down and the ravage or time take their toll – but may also involve specific repairs when the furnace breaks down. If you find yourself call a repair service more often than you’d like, and if those repairs keep costing more and more, then it may be time to make a short-term investment in favor of long-term savings.

If “when is the right time?” turns into “now is the right time,” and you’re looking for Atlanta furnace installation options, contact Cool Air Mechanical for help. Our trained staff can answer any questions you might have, and we perform all of our installation services with professionalism and care. We can also set up maintenance plans to ensure that your new furnace functions at peak capacity for a long time to come. Give us a call today and let us show you what we can do for you!

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Hapeville Heating Contractor Tip: Signs of an Undersized Furnace

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

If you’re purchasing a new furnace for your Hapeville home, you want to avoid buying one that is undersized for your particular space. To do that, here are some common signs that the furnace isn’t powerful enough for the heating needs of your home. These signs might appear for an older furnace as well, especially as it ages and loses its ability to provide adequate heat for your home.

Maintaining Temperature

The most common (and in many cases only) sign that your furnace is undersized is that the device simply doesn’t maintain the temperature in your home properly. This means that when turned on to full and left for a few hours, your furnace doesn’t heat your home to the thermostat setting.

This can be due to an improper load calculation or a load calculation that wasn’t taken at all. The perfectly sized furnace will heat your home evenly on the coldest day your area is likely to have. So, undersizing should be pretty evident – if it doesn’t heat your home evenly and it’s not exceptionally cold outside, you might not have enough BTUs under the hood.

How to Fix the Problem

The problem is one that varies depending on the severity of the undersizing. Modern furnaces are often available with two stages, meaning they can operate at both a low BTU rating (often around 40K or so) and a higher BTU rating (70K or higher). This is the perfect solution for homeowners worried about undersizing because it ensures that your home always has enough heat in reserve should the weather get exceptionally cold.

For example, most furnaces are sized for extremely low temperatures, but if the temperature jumps up to 50 degrees F outside, your furnace is now oversized for that weather. A two stage furnace offers solutions for both common conditions and extreme conditions and will resolve most of the concern you have about undersizing and not having enough heat to offset outdoor temperatures.

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