Not letting hot air get lost up the chimney has its rewards. Many homeowners who are replacing their furnaces are choosing high-efficiency models to help combat rising heating costs. High-efficiency furnaces, however, can be more expensive in the short term than their standard-efficiency counterparts. To make the purchase of this and other high-efficiency appliances easier on the average household, Congress passed the Energy Policy Act, which provides tax credits for the purchase of high-efficiency furnaces.
The new Energy Policy Act (EPACT) makes provisions for tax credits for qualified homeowners who install furnaces. If the furnace installed has an energy-efficiency rating of 95% AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) or higher, the homeowner may qualify for a tax credit of $150. And if the furnace uses a high-efficiency variable-speed blower motor, the purchaser may be eligible for an additional $50 tax credit!
According to Jim Miller, product manager for Goodman furnaces, 95% AFUE furnaces save homeowners money in the long run, even without the tax credit. “Simply put, with a 95% AFUE furnace, for every dollar you spend on heating energy, 95 cents of that dollar is used to warm your home,” explained Miller. “Many furnaces older than 15 years operate at efficiencies of approximately 60% AFUE, meaning only 60 cents of the gas burned contributes to your home’s heating.” The remaining 40 cents is lost up the chimney-expensive and wasteful.
“Plus, 95% AFUE furnaces with a variable-speed blower are even more efficient,” Miller added. “The variable-speed blowers we use in our Goodman GMV95 95% AFUE Variable-Speed Furnace typically require up to 75 percent less electricity than a standard motor. Because a furnace’s blower also works with the home’s cooling system to circulate air, consumers experience increased efficiency year-round.”
Homeowners should work with a certified heating and air-conditioning contractor to choose the furnace that meets the needs of their home and should check with their tax professional regarding the requirements for the EPACT tax credits. Goodman is the second-largest unit manufacturer of residential heating and cooling equipment in the United States, and the first manufacturer to provide a complete line of 95% AFUE furnaces.