When comparison shopping for a furnace system, homeowners often make initial price the deciding factor. This is a short-sighted view of what a homeowner will pay for the system over its lifetime. In fact, the sticker price of a furnace is only a small percentage of the total costs related to owning and operating a furnace. In order to directly gauge the long-term value of a furnace, it’s important to take lifetime costs of into account.
The cost that you see on the price tag of a furnace is generally called the “first cost,” because it is the first time you pay out for the system. A high-efficiency furnace will cost more initially, which can often make a lower-priced, lower-efficiency system look more appealing, but this isn’t a complete picture. Factoring in fuel costs and durability often reveals that higher-efficiency systems are usually the wiser investment.
With a high-efficiency system, you get bigger energy savings over the life of the furnace. Even if that savings was, for instance, a modest $200 more a year than a lower-efficiency system, you’d save a lot of money over the next 15 or so years, the average lifespan of a furnace.
A high-efficiency system is often manufactured with variable-speed capabilities, which means that components like the motor and blower will operate more often at lower speeds. As a result, there is less wear and tear on the system, meaning it will last longer than a low- to mid-efficiency system, while saving you energy dollars. In addition, it will most likely require fewer repairs, which also means more money in your pocket.
Once you factor in lifetime costs, you’ll often see that a lower-priced system costs more to operate over its lifespan than a high-efficiency furnace, which makes the initial price of the high-efficiency system the wiser investment.
Don’t be fooled by a sticker price again. Instead, consider lifetime costs. If you need help assessing efficiency and lifetime costs, the experts at Arpi’s Industriesare glad to help. Contact us anytime.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy savings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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