If you were less than satisfied with the performance of your gas-fired furnace this winter past, it may be time to consider an upgrade. Before you proceed, however, you should know that it’s possible to retrofit gas-fired furnaces to increase their efficiency. Run the numbers with your contractor to determine whether the retrofits listed below will provide an adequate return on investment, or whether it’s time to upgrade.
- Ignition devices – If you have an older furnace, it likely employs a continuous pilot light, which means the pilot light never goes off, and it’s always consuming energy. It’s possible to retrofit the furnace with an intermittent ignition device, which will consume natural gas only when the furnace needs to fire up. If your contractor determines that this retrofit doesn’t offer a sufficient return for investing in it, it may be possible to simply turn off the pilot light once the winter season is over, and relight it when winter rolls around again.
- More efficient burners – If you’ve taken steps to enhance your home’s efficiency, it’s possible that your furnace is now oversized. Depending on how old the furnace is, it’s also possible that it was oversized upon installation, a common practice in the past. Combined, oversizing practices and increasing the home’s efficiency could be detrimental to the furnace’s performance. You can opt to retrofit the furnace with a smaller gas burner, which will reduce its capacity to heat and help you save.
The benefits of retrofitting your gas-fired furnace largely depend on the age of your existing system, its condition (and whether or not it’s been faithfully maintained over the years), the cost of fuel and more. Your contractor can help you determine the upfront costs of retrofits and their return on investment, and then compare those numbers to the investment required and payback if you were to choose to replace the furnace with a more efficient gas furnace, heat pump or dual-fuel system.
To talk about retrofit options for your gas-fired furnace, contact Around The Clock Air Conditioning & Heating today! We serve homeowners in greater Los Angeles.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Los Angeles, North Hollywood and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about Gas-Fired Furnace Retrofits and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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