Remember last year when you wondered if your monthly heating bills were getting higher? Now is the time to decide whether or not to upgrade your furnace. Don’t wait until winter is upon us, do the research now so your heating system will be ready for the cooler temperatures that are coming.
In a milder climate like Los Angeles, the energy efficiency of your furnace is important, but not as much as it would be in a much colder environment. Because of this, you may want to do some calculations before you make the decision whether or not to upgrade.
Many older furnaces have much lower efficiency ratings than new, high-efficiency models. However, your old heating equipment may not have yet reached the end of its life. If your heater is properly maintained it can last more than two decades. If you’re on the fence about upgrading, do the following calculation:
- Talk to your contractor about how much money you would save with a new system. For example, upgrading a furnace with an 80 percent efficiency rating to a model with an efficiency rating between 94 and 97 percent can save you up to 20 percent each month on heating bills. The actual percentages will vary, so ask a professional.
- Add up all your heating bills from last year and multiply the total by the estimated percent that you will save.
- Divide the total cost of the equipment and installation by the number you reached in the previous step to determine how many years it will take you to pay off the investment.
If you’re still on the fence after doing this calculation, factor in the amount you can save by claiming federal tax credits for energy efficiency. Qualified furnace systems must be purchased and installed by the end of 2011, so don’t wait.
The professionals at Around the Clock Air Conditioning and Heatingare here to help you with all of your heating and cooling needs. Whether it’s time for an upgrade or your annual preventive maintenance appointment, give us a call to speak with one of our experts.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about upgrading your furnace and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.