In the most energy-efficient homes, all of the systems work together to minimize energy consumption, reduce utility bills and improve whole-home comfort. To get the most from your new high-efficiency furnace, there are several things you should do first. Even a few inefficiencies, such as leaky ducts, inadequate insulation or drafty windows and doors can seriously compromise the efficiency of your new furnace.
Your high-efficiency furnace will perform best if you’ve taken these steps:
- Load calculations. Make sure your HVAC contractor performs a Manual J load calculation to accurately size your high-efficiency furnace. An under- or oversized furnace will be an energy drain, rather than saver, and can compromise interior comfort and indoor air quality.
- Inspect the ducts. As long as your contractor is doing the inspections necessary for the load calculations, have him inspect your duct design. If your ducts are poorly designed, are leaky, or suffer from airflow obstructions, those issues need to be addressed before your new furnace is installed. If a duct redesign is recommended, know that your investment will be returned via energy savings in a matter of years.
- Seal your home’s envelope. Air leaks are a major reason that a home is losing energy. During the winter months, this means the warm conditioned air from your home will escape to the outside. Your furnace will have to run for longer intervals to maintain your desired thermostat setting, which wastes energy and creates more wear and tear on its mechanical parts.
- Upgrade your insulation. Insulation forms a barrier that resists heat transfer. During the winter months, its helps to keep your warm air indoors where it belongs. Inspect the insulation in your attic and crawlspace. Upgrade your insulation if necessary. There shouldn’t be any gaps. In the attic, the insulation should come to about one inch below the attic floor joists.
Contact Detmer and Sons to optimize the energy efficiency of your Dayton area home before having your new high-efficiency furnace installed. We’ll be happy to do both jobs for you.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Dayton, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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