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The cost of heating a home usually accounts for as much as 45 percent of monthly utility bills. That’s a significant figure. Naturally, this is why so many Illinois homeowners have an interest in highly efficient furnaces and residential heating systems. In reference to furnaces, efficiency basically means how effectively it converts energy from fuel sources to heat for your household.
The highly efficient furnaces available today provide comfort with as much as 98.5 percent AFUE.
These furnaces provide a lot of appeal to Illinois homeowners looking for the most innovative technologies available. They also help reduce energy expenses and minimize impact on the environment. Since these furnaces do such a good job of converting fuel to heat, they require less fuel to provide comfort. Plus, they result in lower emissions. In addition, the highly efficient Carrier furnaces we install include technology that offers comfort benefits and a quieter operation.
Regardless of which of the comfort benefits appeal to you, furnaces and heating systems have advanced a long way. As you review your options, remember that in general, furnaces that provide efficient heating may cost more up front. However, that initial investment will pay off in the form of lower heating bills over its long service lifespan.
Forced air furnaces are on the market utilizing a few different fuel sources: fuel oil, natural gas, electricity and propane. Generally, they all function upon a similar principle. The furnace has a heat exchanger component inside of it that draws heat from the fuel source.
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Airflow circulates into the furnace and moves over the heat exchanger, which absorbs heat and raises the air temperature.
That warm, comfortable distributes into the house’s living areas through a system of vents and ducts. Here is a brief look at the different types of furnaces:
-Natural gas. This is the most widely used source of heating source in the nation and there reason is understandable. Natural gas is accessible in many locations and it is typically the cheapest heating fuel source with respect to the BTUs it generates. That’s why an efficient furnace with a high AFUE rating will provide lower heating costs every month. But since not all homes in the country have accessibility to natural gas, homeowners in those locations depend on other sources. For instance, they depend upon propane, electricity or fuel oil for their heating systems. For more information on the various types of natural gas furnaces we install, contact State Automatic. We can inspect your home’s heating system and recommend a Carrier gas furnace ideal for your comfort needs and budgets.
-Electricity. According to the Department of Energy, electricity is second in popularity only to natural gas as a heating fuel source. Electricity can power a range of heating systems like heat pumps or electrical resistance heaters. Although widely available, electric heat is usually more costly than heat from other fuel sources. That is basically on account of how much electricity it takes to produce the heat necessary for comfort.
-Fuel oil. This category of furnace is less common in the USA in comparison to natural gas units. Furnaces that run on fuel oil are usually found in northeastern areas of the country. (Or where there is less availability of natural gas.) Peak efficiency for fuel oil units is approximately 86.6 percent AFUE.
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Newer fuel oil furnaces may enable combining biodiesel with the fuel oil for a cleaner burning fuel mix. In comparison to electric or propane furnaces, fuel oil units might cost less to run per the BTU it generates.
-Propane. This type of furnace might be the least common when it comes to furnaces that use fossil fuels. However, propane units typically provide highly efficient performance. Carrier does not make furnaces that run on propane. But it is possible for a technician to convert a Carrier furnace for propane use. While propane might cost more per the BTUs it produces, the fuel itself is affordable and burns clean. Propane also needs a storage tank as well as regular delivery.
When to Replace Your Furnace
Depending on the condition and age of your furnace, replacing it with a new, efficient gas furnace is worth considering. If it is more than about 15 years old, your Furnace Repair West Chicago IL may not be very effective at keeping your home comfortable. It may even be driving up your monthly heating bills every month.
Because providing heat to your home is probably the single biggest expense on your utility bills, upgrading may be a smart move.
A highly efficient Carrier furnace can save money on your energy bills during its lifespan. A new heating system with warranties should provide reliability and less need for service calls in comparison to an aging system for its first few years. Your current system, in contrast, will continue operating at declining efficiency while offering fewer features for enhancing comfort. Plus, it is more prone to malfunctioning during winter night.
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To be in the highly efficient classification, a gas furnace must have an AFUE rating of 90 percent or higher. (Up to the maximum of 98.5 percent AFUE.) AFUE, which stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, measures the heat a furnace is able to extract from the fuel it uses. A furnace’s AFUE rating
is set by measuring the degree of heat in British Thermal Units in comparison to the amount of fuel it consumes during that period. The Department of Energy mandates that all furnace manufactures must display each unit’s efficiency on a sticker. Most furnace manufacturers list each model’s AFUE rating
in their print materials and online.
A high efficiency furnace extracts heat from the fuel it consumes by including components and technologies not necessarily found on conventional models. Gas furnaces by Carrier featuring Greenspeed intelligence combines features such as variable-speed motors with a multiple-stage gas valve. They also feature electronic controls for adjusting the furnace’s heating capacities to humidity and temperature conditions.
Top Signs Your Furnace is Probably Due for Replacement
It’s essential to create a reliably warm and safe environment in your Illinois home. However, in the event your current furnace fails to provide warm air this winter, it might be due for replacement. But how can a homeowner be certain when they need to shop around for a new Furnace Repair West Chicago IL? The following are some of the most common signs that a furnace is at the end of its lifespan:
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-The age of your furnace. Begin by looking at the manufacture date of your home’s furnace. If you are similar to many Illinois homeowners, your furnace was probably in place already when you first bought your home. That’s a sign the furnace could be at the tail end of its service life. Consult the owner’s manual or find the unit’s model number, which is usually on the furnace. The typical lifespan of a residential furnace is usually between 15 and 20 years. Factors like usage and maintenance will naturally influence how long a furnace will last.
-A sudden increase in your monthly utility bills. This is a telltale indicator that your furnace is not doing its job efficiently. An aging furnace must run for longer periods of time to sustain the comfort levels you prefer. Not surprisingly, this will drive up the cost of heating your home. With an efficient, new furnace installed by State Automatic, you’ll enjoy dependable heating that remains affordable.
-Noticeable build-up of dust particles in your indoor air. Seeing more dirt and dust
accumulating in your home as your furnace runs is a sign to replace it. Plus, it’s also a sign that your indoor air quality is poor.
-Humidity levels. Humidity in a home is a common concern for many homeowners during the winter season. Particularly in homes with wood flooring. If you’re experiencing dry indoor air your furnace might be the cause.
-Inconsistent heating throughout the home. If you notice that different areas in your home heat unevenly it may be due to the furnace. A furnace in decline can struggle to effectively circulate warm air throughout a home. Consequently, some rooms will feel warm while others may feel too chilly.
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-Strange or loud noises coming from your furnace. Is your furnace making grinding or squealing sounds?
Like with any major appliance, sudden loud noises are a call for help from a furnace. It may be a warning sign that your furnace has structural problems, leaks or cracks. Schedule service by State Automatic so our technicians can inspect your furnace and recommend your best options.
-Visible cracks or rust forming on your furnace. This is among the clearest signs that a furnace needs replacement.
-Increasing need for repairs. Review your latest furnace Furnace Repair West Chicago IL costs to track how frequently it needs service. While there’s nothing unusual about the occasional repair to restore function, lots of repairs may indicate it’s time for replacement.
If you are observing any of these common warning signs with your furnace, call State Automatic. It’s beneficial to consult with a knowledgeable HVAC contractor about replacement furnace options. Not only is it essential to have reliable heat in winter, it’s also essential to keep your household safe. Problems with a furnace can result in health risks from dust, pet dander or even carbon monoxide.
House Too Drafty This Winter? Here’s a Few DIY Tips
If your heating system is running without problems but you still feel chilly, you likely have a drafty house. The problems in that case are more than only discomfort. A draft indicates that cold air is coming in and warm air is going out. That creates a recurring cycle of wasting energy and rising utility costs. The areas in a home where drafts commonly occur include:
-Exterior doors and window frames.
-Chimneys and fireplaces.
-An attics, basement or garage with poor insulation.
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Here are a few reliable methods for locating where drafts are occurring in your home:
-Get a flashlight and go outside after dark. Shine the flashlight through your home’s window frames and doors. If the light shines through gaps on the other side there is a draft.
-Slide a sheet of paper underneath the door frame. If there’s no resistance when you pull the paper back out there’s a leak.
-First, switch off the furnace and your water heater. Then, switch on any exhaust fans. Light a candle
and hold it near any area you suspect has a draft. If the candle flickers it’s a sign of a draft.
-Are you feeling a slight breeze when you stand next to a window or door in your home? Or, is there a
whistling sound coming from your windows and doors when they’re shut? These are all sure signs of a draft allowing cold air into the home.
Fast Solutions for a Drafty House
-Lock the windows. This seems obvious but it is a typical issue that homeowners sometimes overlook. Even when a window is shut, it is not completely sealed unless you lock it.
-Seal your windows. Lack of effective sealing leaves a home vulnerable to drafts. You can apply caulk or weather stripping to seal off leaks and gaps.
-Hang some curtains. Curtains are helpful for keeping cold air out. However, remember to open the curtain in the daytime to utilize the natural heat of the sun.
-Get a door sweep. If the bottoms of your doorways are drafty, door sweeps are an effective and affordable fix.
-Consider installing storm doors. Storm doors are an effective, durable barrier against wind and cold.
-Insulation. Schedule a professional evaluation of your attic, basement and garage for sufficient insulation.