Armando’s furnace blower drove up his summer electric costs
Armando’s house was built in 1894.
“Every summer, the upstairs was consistently 10 to 15 degrees warmer than the rest of the house. We couldn’t get the house temperature below 80 degrees. Then my air-conditioning unit died in 2012,” said Armando, a Belvidere homeowner.
After a professional contractor visited his home, Armando received some unexpected but valuable advice. His contractor recommended he replace his 22-year-old furnace in addition to replacing his air conditioner. Armando wasn’t thinking about energy efficiency when he called his contractor but was intrigued.
“My contractor explained to me the benefits of energy efficiency and talked to me about the rebates available from ComEd and Nicor Gas. He explained that it is the furnace blower driving up my electric costs in the summer. He told me that it’s in my best interest to upgrade both to get the most out of my new air conditioning unit.”
It’s true. In homes with both heating and air conditioning systems, each system shares certain components with the other and has multiple functionalities. Ultimately, replacing both an air conditioner and a furnace at the same time (even if the furnace is still working) can save more energy. Put simply, if it is not paired with an energy-efficient furnace, a new energy-efficient air conditioner may not conserve as much energy as intended.
Armando decided to replace both systems and his family’s comfort level increased tremendously while his monthly energy bills decreased.
“Now there’s a 4 degree difference between the first floor and the second floor of my home during the summer. My electric bills are under $200 a month. They were close to $400. That’s incredible,” Armando said.
Armando’s energy-use also stood the test of three polar vortexes.
“Before, my gas bill was averaging $150 to $170 a month. This (2013-2014) winter, my bill never went higher than $103. I’ve brought my 100-year-old home into the millennium.”