Natural gas furnaces heat your home faster. Air from a natural gas furnace is up to 25 degrees warmer when it comes through the vent than air from an electric heat pump.
Most new high-efficiency furnaces have an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of 95 percent or higher. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the unit — and the more money you can save.
New residential furnaces will display an Energy Guide label comparing the annual fuel costs of similar-sized units.
Look for these high-tech features that improve furnace efficiency:
- Electronic spark or “hot surface” ignitions eliminate the need for continuously burning pilot lights that waste fuel and increase operating costs.
- Condensing furnaces capture most of the heat from water vapor in the exhaust, which is wasted by traditional furnaces. The exhaust gases from a condensing furnace are cool enough that they can be vented through a wall with plastic piping.