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Raising the Standard Episode 37: How to Choose Between a Standard or High Efficiency Furnace

Raising the Standard Podcast

BOSS owner Jeff Street once again joins WSJM’s Spencer River for another episode of Raising the Standard.  This week, the topics of discussion range from annual furnace maintenance to how to choose a standard or high efficiency furnace, and more!  So let’s get into it!

The Importance of Annual Furnace Check-Ups

Fall is the perfect time of year to get an HVAC technician to your home to perform a thorough inspection of your furnace for 2 major reasons: 1) To make sure it’s safely operating and 2) To ensure you won’t have any furnace breakdowns in the middle of winter.  Nobody likes to wake up to a furnace breakdown during single-digit temperatures in the middle of winter.  So we encourage homeowners to be proactive by offering an early-bird furnace check-up special every year.

This year we are offering a $59 Back to School Furnace exam, where you can get your furnace inspected by one of our technicians for the lowest price in town, and we even guarantee no furnace breakdowns this winter, or we’ll give you a full $59 refund.  

You can reserve your furnace check-up here: https://thebossservices.com/back-to-school-furnace-exams/

High Efficiency vs. Standard Efficiency Furnaces

The next topic Jeff and Spencer covered is: How do you know if you have a high efficiency furnace or not?  The first thing you’re going to look at is the venting on it. If your furnace is vented and has a plastic PVC pipe, then it’s a high efficiency furnace. If it’s going into your chimney, then there’s a good chance that it’s not a high efficiency furnace. There’s also a data plate on your furnace, and it will tell you the efficiency. So you can discover whether you have an 80%, 90%, or 96% efficiency just by looking at that. You can also look at the serial number and Google the serial number along with the manufacturer’s name. That will tell you everything you need to know about the furnace: The year it was made, the model number, the efficiency, and more. 

How to Determine Whether to Buy a High Efficiency or Standard Efficiency Furnace?

Everyone has a different budget in mind, as well as different needs and goals for when they are looking at options to replace their furnace. So for some people, that decision comes down to cost and for some people, it’s more about comfort. Another factor, is how often you’re using your furnace. For example, if it’s a second home, you might not be super interested in high efficiency, because you’re not there much. So it really just depends on the situation. 

What Is the Primary Difference Between a Standard Efficiency Furnace vs. a High Efficiency Furnace?

An entry-level furnace is 80% efficient, and a high efficiency furnace starts at a 96% efficiency. In general, the efficiency of a furnace is the amount of fuel that the furnace is actually burning instead of wasting away. So a higher efficiency furnace at 96%-98% is going to convert 96-98% of the energy from gas into heat, using less fuel to get your home’s temperature to the desired outcome. An added benefit of a high efficiency furnace is that they have a fresh air intake, pulling fresh air in from the outside. If you’re burning propane, efficiency is important because, obviously, that means you don’t have to fill up your tank as often.

THIS new HVAC technology has higher efficiency than any furnace…

BOSS now offers a product called WellConnect. We are the only company in the area providing this alternative that is incredibly energy efficient because it uses your own well water as fuel. Basically, if you have a furnace that’s on propane and you have a well, you can add this WellConnect system to your heating and cooling system, and it will provide about 90 to 95% of the heat that you would need just by running well water through this geothermal system. It will pump water out of your well and turn it into heat, pumping that into your house. You won’t need an AC unit any longer, but you will still want to keep your furnace around for those days where the temperature drops to single-digits so you can have a supplemental heat source. 

How efficient are boilers? Are they still common?

Boilers are very common sources of heat in older homes and even in new homes. We have provided as many as three or four boilers in a home to do anything from their water, hot water storage tank, melt snow in the driveway, heat a pool, and, of course, provide heat for their house. Boilers are super efficient. You’re essentially using natural gas or propane to heat water and circulating it through your home, and that water is only circulating into the rooms that need it.  Basically, everything is zoned and there are thermostats in every room to make them as efficient as possible.  They have come a long way since the seventies.  Now there’s a pump for each room and valves that open and close automatically when a specific area in the home calls for more heat. It’s amazing how far boilers have come technology-wise.

Looking for an HVAC system replacement? We provide options!

When replacing your HVAC system, typically we provide 3 to 4 different options for the size your home requires.  We have entry-level standard efficiency options all the way up to high efficiency sturdy American made options and we allow homeowners to see a range of different choices so they can figure out what may be best for them based on their goals, whether it’s price, efficiency, or usage. On our higher efficiency equipment, we also provide 10 year parts and labor warranties to protect that investment.

If you know right now that you need a new HVAC system, BOSS Services provides free quotes and consultations with a Comfort Advisor that can give plenty of options for you.  Give us a call at 269-468-6682 to schedule your no-pressure consultation if you’re interested!

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