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Energy Efficient Furnaces

What does “efficiency rating” mean?

A furnace boiler or water heater burns fuel to generate heat and needs to put that heat into an air stream in your ducts, or into water in your pipes. The efficiency rating is what percentage of that heat gets into your air or water.

What happens to the rest of the heat? It goes up the chimney and is lost into the sky. Therefore, a 15-year-old furnace that is 65% efficient is putting 35% of the heat you paid for up the chimney.

A 96% efficient furnace only “wastes” 4%! That’s a big difference! And since the cost of the fuel you put through a furnace, boiler or water heater during its lifetime is much greater than the cost of the unit itself, it’s worth it to install the very highest efficiency equipment available. Let Kalkaska Plumbing and Heating Inc. accomplish this in your home.

It’s of the utmost importance that a building’s HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems are not just up to date but properly installed and energy efficient. This isn’t just a nice suggestion, but it is critical advice for anyone looking to reduce their energy footprint and monthly expenses. In fact, heating and air conditioning takes up just about half of most people’s energy bills!

Now is the time to begin saving money on your utility bills and enjoying a more comfortable home. The wrong size unit, inefficient quality and outdated systems are just a few of the reasons a system may need our services. If you feel like you are throwing money out the window every time you pay your utility bill, contact us today. At Kalkaska Plumbing and Heating Inc. we thoroughly inspect your home and system to ensure all the necessary areas of consideration are evaluated. Next we suggest the right avenue to have your home actually comfortable and affordable throughout the year. From HVAC repair to replacement we can provide the services you need.

Sizing and rating air conditioners

No matter what term you use, it takes energy and money to maintain comfortable interior temperatures during hot weather. That’s why it’s helpful to learn a few basics about how different air conditioning systems work.

Portable air conditioners are sized according to the BTU rating. A BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is a unit of energy about equal to the energy produced by a single match. Generally speaking, portable air conditioners will have a cooling capacity between 5,000 and 10,000 BTU.

Central air conditioning systems utilize a different sizing convention called the “ton.” A “ton” of cooling capacity equals the amount of heat absorbed by one ton of ice melting over a 24-hour period. One ton of cooling capacity is equal to 12,000 BTU. Common household air conditioning systems may be from 1.5 to 5 tons, and you may have multiple units.

While BTUs and tons describe cooling capacity, EER and SEER ratings are used to describe an air conditioner’s efficiency. The Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) denotes the efficiency of a cooling system when the outdoor temperature is at a specific level (usually 95 degrees F). Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is used to measure the efficiency of a cooling system over an entire cooling season. The higher the rating, the more efficient the unit.

These days, air conditioning systems with a SEER of 16 or more are considered very good. 21 SEER systems are about the highest you can get these days. An air conditioning unit that is 12 years old or more may only be 10 SEER or less. This means you can cut the amount of electricity you use for air conditioning in half just by making this upgrade alone! When you combine an air conditioning upgrade with other measures to save energy such as air sealing the house, adding insulation, sealing and insulation ducts, and a radiant barrier in your attic; you are saving big and making your home more comfortable.

Both portable and central air conditioning units should have EER and SEER ratings. SEER ratings will always be slightly higher than EER ratings. More efficient air conditioners are also likely to have earned a ENERGY STAR® rating, which means that they are at least 10% more efficient than the minimum standard established by the federal government.

We can evaluate your current heating and cooling system and provide a free quote on a super-efficient system that will save you money. Call 258-3588 or email kph@torchlake.com today for a free quote.