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Most Vermonters rarely think about their heating systems until something goes wrong. If we're warm, we're generally happy. We have necessary furnace service completed, but we don't want to spend money a new heating system when our existing one still works, especially in tough economic times.
But there's an important distinction between "spending" and "investing." Replacing an inefficient older heater with one of the state-of-the-art and highly efficient furnaces now available is an investment that offers excellent returns. New furnaces may not be cheap, but the upfront costs can be more than offset with the energy savings you'll see from a modern system. What's more ... the returns on this investment increase as energy prices rise. As you know, furnaces can be critical to our daily lives throughout long Vermont winters, so it's important to make sure you have a furnace in place that will convert as much energy in to heat as possible.
Example: Peter's Vermont home is heated with a 20 year-old furnace which is 75% efficient. He burns 800 gallons of oil each year, and has been given an estimate of $3,500 to install a new 83% efficient furnace and a programmable thermostat. Even if he takes advantage of low-interest loans, Peter is understandably concerned about the cost. But the true cost is modest: $35 a month if oil prices are $3.00 a gallon, falling to $25 a month if oil goes to $4.00 a gallon. (Do the math, or let us do it for you.) Keep in mind that the new furnace uses 120 gallons less oil each year, so Peter will be able to pocket all of the monthly savings once the unit is paid off in just five years.
Savings with a Super Efficient Furnace from the Energy Co-op of Vermont
|Old Furnace||New Furnace|
|Oil Use, Gallons/Year||800||680|
|Oil Price, $/Gallon:||$3.00||$3.00|
|Return on Investment:||11%|
|Net Monthly Payment, New Furnace:||$35|