How Much Can I Save Upgrading My Furnace?

Upgrading your aging furnace can put more money in your pocket through energy savings and fewer repairs.

According to ENERGY STAR®, depending on where you live, replacing your old heating and cooling system with ENERGY STAR-certified equipment can cut your annual energy bill by nearly $140.

Actual savings here in the Pacific Northwest depend on the efficiency of your current furnace compared to a new heating system, fuel costs, climate, and your comfort preferences. 

Carrier Northwest can help you find a trusted Carrier dealer near your home to answer your questions about furnace upgrades and recommend the best equipment for your budget and heating goals.

Our online directory includes heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) companies in Oregon, Washington, and Montana.

Is it Time to Upgrade?

A professional HVAC team will help determine if it is time for a new, more efficient furnace. If your heating system is 15 years old, it is a good idea to consider buying new equipment.

Furnaces typically last 15 to 20 years. Preventative maintenance helps extend your heating system’s service life, but there is no way to turn back the clock. Your furnace loses some efficiency every year as it wears out. Annual tune-ups can help rejuvenate the system, but your aging equipment will never operate like new. 

New equipment, operating at peak efficiency, saves more money than an old unit that still works but is nearing the end of its service life. 

Other Signs You Need an Upgrade

Frequent repairs, increasing utility bills, and comfort issues underscore the need to upgrade.

If you often repair your furnace, you are wasting money that you could apply to a new unit. Tax credits and rebates can assist with upgrading. For example, you can claim a 30 percent tax credit, up to $600, when you install a high-efficiency furnace through 2032.

An increasing utility bill points to decreasing efficiency. 

Comfort issues can be anything from cold and hot spots in your home to the feeling that your furnace does not deliver the warmth it used to. That becomes a savings issue as you repeatedly hike the thermostat setting to compensate for the lack of comfort.

A new furnace would remedy comfort issues and bring energy costs down. 

Furnace Efficiency Rating

The annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating tells you how efficiently a furnace turns fuel, such as natural gas, into heat for your Washington, Oregon, or Montana home. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the furnace. 

An older furnace may have an AFUE of 70 percent or even lower. High-efficiency units can achieve up to 98.5 percent efficiency. Standard furnaces are in the 80 percent-plus range. 

If your current furnace has an AFUE of 70 percent, it turns 70 percent of its fuel into heat. The rest goes up the chimney as exhaust gases. A furnace with an AFUE of 90 percent would create 20 percent more heat from the same amount of fuel.

If you spent $1,000 on annual heating costs, you would save $200 with the 90 AFUE furnace. 

Saving money is not just about AFUE ratings. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says you can cut your heating and cooling costs by 20 to 50 percent by maintaining and upgrading your HVAC system in addition to appropriate insulation, air sealing, and thermostat settings. 

You might have a furnace with the highest AFUE in the world, but that will not matter much if all the heat in your home leaks through damaged ductwork, old windows, gaps under doors, and cracks in the attic walls.

Choosing a Furnace 

The Carrier dealer you select from our Carrier Northwest online directory will calculate the correct size furnace for your home and help you choose features that will improve comfort, save money, and make sense for your household.

For example, upgrading from a low-efficiency furnace to a standard, single-stage furnace with a single-stage blower may be sufficient for your smaller house, especially if your energy bills are low. 

A high-efficiency modulating furnace with a variable-speed blower could be your solution if you have a lot of space to heat and are spending a fortune on utility bills. These furnaces offer precise control over indoor temperature. They can operate at lower capacity and blower speed in mild winter weather.   

Upgrade with Carrier

Find a Carrier dealer in Oregon, Washington, or Montana through our Carrier Northwest online directory. Let an expert recommend a furnace upgrade that saves the most money and provides improved comfort. Click our Find a Dealer link to get started.