Are High-Efficiency Furnaces Worth the Extra Cost?


Sinclaire Enterprises, Inc.

140 South St., Walpole, MA 02081
P 508.668.8200 Toll Free 877.668.8822
Master Plumber License #9530,
Sheet Metal Master-Unrestricted #5442

When you’re in the market for a new furnace, the most critical question you have to answer is whether a high-efficiency furnace is the right choice for you. At first glance, the higher price tag may have you shying away and turning to a more affordable, less efficient unit. However, there are many reasons why a high-efficiency furnace is worth the extra upfront cost.

What makes a furnace “high efficiency”?

When people in the HVAC industry talk about “efficiency,” they are referring to how much energy is lost during the heating process. What this really means is that a less efficient unit uses more fuel to heat your home.

The efficiency of furnaces is measured using the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. The lower the rating, the less efficient the furnace is; the higher the rating, the higher the efficiency of the unit. So a unit with an AFUE rating of 95% requires less fuel, whether it’s natural gas, propane, or fuel oil, than a unit with an 85% AFUE rating.

When you’re shopping for a high-efficiency furnace, you will come across furnaces that are labeled as single-stage, two-stage, or variable speed. While all of these can be highly efficient, some are more efficient than others.

Single-stage furnaces are the simplest furnaces. They have only one flame setting: on. While this simple setup means they are more affordable than other units, it can also lead to big swings in temperature in your home because there is no low or medium setting.

Two-stage furnaces have two flame levels: low and high. This gives them a little more efficiency than single-stage units and results in lower temperature swings.

Variable-speed furnaces, also known as “modulating” furnaces, are the most efficient-running and maintain the best comfort level. They are able to make heat changes in smaller increments so your home’s temperature only varies by a degree or two.

5 Reasons to Invest in a High-Efficiency Furnace

While a high-efficiency furnace may cost more at installation time, there are many good reasons that a high-efficiency furnace is right for you.

  1. A high-efficiency furnace leads to lower energy bills. While they cost more out of pocket, a high-efficiency furnace will save you money every year with lower energy bills over the life of the unit. How much could you save? Some homeowners save thousands of dollars a year. At the very least, the unit will pay for itself in savings over its lifetime.
  2. A high-efficiency furnace is quieter than a lower-efficiency unit. It may not occur to you right away, but a higher efficiency unit doesn’t have to burn as hot or work as hard to keep your home at the perfect temperature. This is incredibly helpful if you have kids at home or have trouble sleeping. If you’re really concerned about noise, a two-stage high-efficiency furnace is even quieter.
  3. A high-efficiency furnace is better for indoor air quality. Another benefit of a high-efficiency furnace is that they are made with better air filtration systems to catch more pollutants before they can make it into your living space. If you have family members with bad allergies, this can help them breathe easier at home.
  4. A high-efficiency furnace heats your home more efficiently. Have you ever set your thermostat to a specific temperature only to find that your furnace misses the mark completely or overshoots it by a lot? This is because the furnace has to work too hard to get to the goal, so it pumps more hot air than needed, so there’s more time between cycles. For example, if you’ve set your thermostat for 68, a less efficient furnace will let the air temperature get as low as 65 or 66 before firing and then run until it’s 70 before shutting back off.
  5. A high-efficiency furnace is better for the environment. A high-efficiency furnace uses less fuel and releases fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Because they are so environmentally friendly, the U.S. government has provided tax credits to offset the cost of the unit.

Choosing the Best Furnace Installation in Newport

One easy way to save money on your high-efficiency furnace installation is to choose a reliable, reputable HVAC contractor. Ratings and review sites like Google and Thumbtack are a great place to start in researching the best Ashland furnace company.

Sinclaire Home Services has been serving Massachusetts families since 1948. Our knowledgeable sales staff can help you find the perfect high-efficiency furnace for your home and your budget. Then our expert technicians will ensure that your new furnace is perfectly installed and heating your home to perfection.