How Much Can a 95% Efficient Furnace Save Me Over an 80% Efficient Furnace?

Homeowners are very concerned about rising prices for natural gas and the impact it can have on their heating bills this winter. If you are shopping for a furnace and debating the merits of an 80% or 95% efficient furnace, this guide will help you make up your mind.

Energy Savings with a 95% Furnace Vs. an 80% Furnace

You’ll use about 15% less energy with a 95% efficient gas furnace than you will with an 80% gas furnace. That is what the numbers mean, of course. A 95% AFUE (annualized fuel utilization efficiency) furnace will convert 95% of the fuel it burns into heat for your home while 5% of the heat will be lost in the exhaust gases. High-efficiency gas furnaces use a secondary heat exchanger to capture more heat before it is vented.

An 80% efficient furnace converts 80% of the fuel into heat while 20% is wasted. You can see how that will contribute to higher energy bills. Many homeowners find that amount of waste – and that much extra carbon emissions – to be distasteful. It’s not just the desire for lower energy bills that is driving the demand for efficient furnaces. It is the also the desire for more ecofriendly products.

Now, you’ll have to do the math to figure out how much lower your energy bills will be with a 95% efficient furnace. Review your energy use from last year. If you are replacing a 70% gas furnace, you’ll use 10% less with an 80% furnace and about 25% less with a 95% furnace. Multiply your gas savings by the current cost of natural gas or propane and you’ll get a very good idea of what your savings will be.

Deciding if a 95% Gas Furnace is Cost Effective

You will pay 15% to 25% more for a 95% efficient furnace, depending on the model. The more features it has like a 2-stage or modulating gas valve and a variable-speed blower, the more it will cost. Some 80% furnaces have 2-stage and variable-speed performance too. It will help to know prices for the exact models and sizes you are considering.

Divide the extra cost of the 95% furnace by the amount of money you expect to save per year. For example, if you will save $150 per year and the 95% furnace costs $600 more, it will take you approximately 4 years of lower bills to make up the difference. This is called the “payback” period.

In cold climates, the payback period is always shorter than in warm climates.

Now, consider how long you intend to stay in your current home. The longer you intend to live there, the more it makes sense to choose the more efficient gas furnace. Here’s another incentive: Many gas companies are offering credits and rebates for Energy Star gas furnaces. See what you utility company is offering and how that will affect the finances of the deal.

Top Rated 80% Downflow Gas Furnace

The Goodman GDH8 80% Twin Comfort is the top-rated downflow gas furnace on the market. There is plenty to like about this furnace including its performance, quality, warranty and price. Here is a look at each of these reasons this is the best 80% downflow furnace on the market.

Goodman GDH8 80% Twin Comfort Performance

Most 80% efficient gas furnaces are single-stage models. With the flip of a switch, the installer can turn this furnace into a 2-stage model. That’s the idea behind the “Twin Comfort” in the name. The furnace will run at low capacity most of the time. At 65%, it heats more gently. The longer, gentle cycles create much better temperature balance than a single-stage furnace can. You won’t notice temperature swings and the rooms of your home will feel more evenly heated. The furnace is equipped with a multiple-speed fan that starts and stops more quietly and won’t push cold air into your home at the start of a cycle.

Goodman GDH8 80% Twin Comfort Quality

Goodman has always been known as a value brand. In the early years, low prices came at the expense of higher quality. That has changed. The Goodman Company has doubled down on efforts to produce quality furnaces at affordable prices. Goodman now has a top-10 service record in the industry, not far behind brands like Carrier, Trane, Bryant, American Standard, Rheem and Heil. This furnace should serve you very durably for up to 20 years and possibly more when it is maintained properly.

Goodman GDH8 80% Twin Comfort Warranty

Most top brands offer a lifetime limited warranty on the heat exchanger and so does Goodman. However, Goodman goes a step further. If the heat exchanger fails in the first 10 years, Goodman will replace the entire furnace. That gives homeowners confidence to install Goodman products like this one. All other parts are backed by a 10-year warranty that is the same length as the Carrier Infinity and Bryant Evolution lines.

Goodman GDH8 80% Twin Comfort Price

Even though Goodman does very well in the categories outlined above, it truly shines when it comes to price. From top to bottom, the Goodman gas furnace product lineup is priced to sell. Here are current gas furnace prices for this model.

32,000 BTU Goodman GDH8 gas furnace: $650

48,000 BTU Goodman GDH8 gas furnace: $730

64,000 BTU Goodman GDH8 gas furnace: $790

80,000 BTU Goodman GDH8 gas furnace: $880

96,000 BTU Goodman GDH8 gas furnace: $980

112,000 BTU Goodman GDH8 gas furnace: $1,040

Take a look at our gas furnace ratings posts to compare prices of this Goodman furnace with those from most other brands. You’ll see a dramatic price difference which makes Goodman gas furnaces like this one an outstanding value.

If you are in the market for a downflow gas furnace with 80% efficiency, the Goodman GDH8 gas furnace is a great place to start looking.

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