Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 by Paul Giglio Jr
It’s impossible for a high-efficiency furnace to perform at its peak unless your home is properly sealed and insulated. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that up to 40 percent of the energy needed to heat your home is lost through the home’s outer envelope.
The outer envelope includes the exterior walls, ceiling and ground floor. These areas tend to leak air, defeating the purpose of investing in a high-efficiency furnace. As you make improvements, focus on adding attic insulation and sealing attic floor penetrations to keep heated air inside.
Here are some specific upgrades that help you get the most from your high-efficiency furnace.
Use Efficient Insulation
Spray foam is a premium insulating product because it can insulate and air seal at the same time. With professional installation, you can expect spray foam in the attic to outperform conventional fiberglass or cellulose. In fact, a thorough installation could cut total home air leakage by one-third or nearly one-half, reducing your heating bills by up to 20 percent.
If you trade out your existing attic insulation for spray foam, don’t throw the old stuff out; increase insulation even further by simply placing the extra insulation atop the newly installed foam.
Apply a Radiant Barrier
This product is applied to the roof’s underside. In the winter, it helps your high-efficiency furnace perform better by reflecting lost heat back down. In the summer, the radiant barrier reflects heat from the roof back to the exterior.
Remember Other Appliances
If you have a high-efficiency furnace but an outdated, power-hungry water heater, you won’t see as big of the dip in your energy bills this winter as you expect. The next time your water heater acts up, consider replacing it with an Energy Star certified model.
The biggest reason you invested in your high-efficiency furnace was to save money, right? Put more money back in your pocket by taking advantage of various incentives, including federal tax credits totaling $150 for high-efficiency furnaces. These expire Dec. 31, 2013, so act quickly.
Learn more about high-efficiency furnaces by contacting Pipe Works Services, Inc., serving northern New Jersey with pride.