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Time to Check Furnaces, Before Heating Season
DAYTON -- As colder weather draws near, it is important to evaluate the condition of your furnace before turning it on for the winter.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates one in four furnaces has been in operation for 20 years or more and may not be performing at peak efficiency. Other than simply looking at the age of the furnace, Vectren Energy Delivery says it is important to have a trained professional evaluate its performance to ensure its operating safely and efficiently.
Its easy to forget to regularly check your furnace - given most units are housed in basements or garages, said Colleen Ryan, president of Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio. It is important that a qualified heating contractor performs a regular maintenance check in order to ensure it is working properly. In fact, an annual tune-up can extend the life of your unit and save 3 to 10 percent on heating costs."
During regular furnace maintenance checks, Vectren says, the technician can calculate the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). This will indicate how much of the energy used by the furnace is actually generating heat to be circulated throughout the home or business and how much heat is escaping through chimneys, windows, doorways, etc. If the levels are dipping below the 80 percent range, repairs or replacement might be in order. The higher the AFUE, the lower the energy bills will be each month.
If a new furnace is necessary, Vectren offers a $200 rebate toward the purchase of a 95 percent AFUE or higher natural gas furnace. A list of qualifying appliances and rebate forms are available through Vectrens Conservation Connection on www.vectren.com.
Vectrens Conservation Connection programs offer customers a variety of information on energy efficiency tips, appliance rebates and home energy audits, added Ryan. You can even sign up to receive e-mails or text messages reminding you to replace your furnace filters.
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