Heating Efficiency

What does Heating Efficiency really mean?
When conducting home inspections, we examine a variety of heating systems in the Toronto area.  By far the most common are the forces air gas systems, which vary from conventional, mid efficiency, and high efficiency.  You may have heard the term high efficiency heating systems but what does that really mean and what are the major items that contribute to?  It it’s simplest form it essentially boils down to saving  fuel which also means saving  money, but let’s take a closer look both high efficiency and mid efficiency.

High efficiency furnaces
One of the major features of a high efficiency furnace is that it may have two or three heat exchangers rather than just one.  This aspect contributes to 95 percent efficiency rating given to high efficient  furnaces.  Unfortunately this does come at a cost.  A high efficiency furnace tends to be pricier than mid or conventional furnaces, typically $1100 – $1,600 more.

From a cost perspective, a typical Toronto home that cost $1,100 to heat with a conventional or mid efficiency  furnace should cost only $700 or so to heat with a high efficiency system, this means an approximate savings of $400 a year. In a few years, the high efficiency furnace would pay for itself.

Mid-efficiency furnaces
Many of the Mid-efficiency furnaces available in the market place have an efficiency rating of approximately 85%.  When the furnace is off or simple idle, there is no continuous pilot light that required to be maintained ( as in conventional furnaces).  Some models also have motorized dampers which limit the amount  of heat  released up the chimney. Mid efficiency furnaces are less expensive than high efficiency but more than a standard conventional furnace.