FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What are Fixed speed and Variable Speed Furnaces?
A: Conventional Fixed Speed furnaces run at full output when on. Variable Speed Systems run continuously and adjusts output to match conditions.
This allows them to use less energy, be less noisy, and minimize temperature swings. The continuous air flow also allows for better humidity and filtration control
A Variable Speed Furnace will cost more up front but will pay back in energy savings  in hundreds of dollars per year.
Q: What does Two-Stage and Single-Stage mean?
A: A Single-Stage furnace only has one stage of operation- maximum output. A Two-Stage has a 1st Stage, where it runs at 68% heating capacity, and a 2nd stage, where it increases fuel flow and the blower increases to maximum speed.
By running the 1st Stage in mild weather, which is on average 80% of the heating season, and using the second stage only when high output is needed, it allows the furnace to run slower, quieter, and more efficiently the majority of the season.
Q: What is Furnace Efficiency Percent (AFUE)?
A: The percent or AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) is the amount of heat that is delivered to your home out of the total fuel supplied to the furnace.
For example, with a 95% AFUE furnace, 95% of the fuel is used to heat your home, and 5% is lost out the chimney. New furnaces range from 80% all the way up to 97%+, while older furnaces can be only 50%.
Q: What is a Hybrid System/Dual-Fuel System?
A: A hybrid HVAC system uses gas and electric fuel to heat your home and lower energy costs. In mild weather, your home can be heated with an efficient electric heat pump until the temperatures falls low enough for the gas furnace to be needed.
A special Thermostat is used to sense the outdoor temperature to know what fuel source is needed. For more info go to http://hybridsaver.com/
Q: What is a Split System?
A: A split system is a typical HVAC system with a gas furnace, an a/c coil inside and condenser outside. The system is in 2 locations, so it is ‘split’.  A split system can also be an air handler inside and heat pump outside.
The alternative, a packaged system, has both heating and cooling functions in a single outside unit.  

Links:


Tax Credits:

Focus on Energy Rebates

Federal Tax Credits

Solar/Sustainable Energy:

MREA (Midwest Renewable Energy Association)

Database for State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency


Hybrid HVAC Systems:

Is a Hybrid Heating & Cooling System Right for You?