High-Efficiency Gas Furnaces
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Natural gas furnaces heat your home faster. Air from a natural gas furnace is up to 25 degrees warmer when it comes through the vent than air from an electric heat pump.
Most new high-efficiency furnaces have an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of 90 percent or higher. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the unit and the more money you can save.
New residential furnaces will display an EnergyGuide label comparing the annual fuel costs of similar-sized units.
Look for these high-tech features that improve furnace efficiency:
- Electronic spark ignitions or "hot surface" ignitions eliminate the need for continuously burning pilot lights that waste fuel and increase operating costs.
- Condensing furnaces recapture some of the heat from water vapor, which is wasted by traditional furnaces. The exhaust gases from a condensing furnace are cool enough that they can be vented through a wall with plastic piping.
- Pulse furnaces burn natural gas in small pulses, much like a car engine, allowing maximum heat to be extracted from the fuel. These furnaces can achieve AFUE ratings as high as 97 percent.
- Automatic vent dampers close the flue pipe when the burners are off and reduce the amount of heated air drawn up and wasted.
Gas Space Heaters
Energy-efficient gas space heaters are growing in popularity — and for good reason, they operate even during power outages. They’re also great solutions for heating small rooms — or whenever you need a bit more warmth.
The two basic types of gas space heaters are:
- Vent-free models are virtually 99 percent fuel-efficient and require no electricity. You can control them manually or with thermostats, and they can be mounted on walls or floors.
- Vented models are thermostatically controlled and sit on the floor.