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A Guide to Efficiency When Upgrading Your HVAC System

While maintenance goes a long way in the life of an HVAC system, eventually it will be time to replace the unit for a new state-of-the-art model. Like when Babe came into Paul Bunyan’s life, a new system can make your heating work smarter and more efficiently, saving your wallet and unit from wasting unnecessary energy. Here’s how to make the most of this opportunity, so your home and its HVAC system can work as a perfect pair.

Investing in Energy Efficiency With Your Home’s Heating

1. ENERGY STAR® Distinction

If you have an older boiler or furnace system in your home, it’s likely only working at an efficiency of 56% to 70% its output. This percentage means that of the heat your system is producing, up to 44% of its output is wasted before it reaches the furthest expanses of your home. Modern units, on the other hand, can hit efficiencies up to 98.5%, a considerable improvement from even 15 years ago.

As a result, these systems significantly diminish your energy bills and cut your emissions in half because they require less energy to heat your home. On average, a home in a cold-weather climate will reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 1.5 tons each year with a gas heating system and 2.5 tons with oil. When you’re in the marketing for a new furnace or boiler, keep an eye out for an ENERGY STAR® label, which is the Environmental Protection Agency’s seal of approval for efficiency standards.

2. Programmable Thermostats

In the pursuit of only using the energy you need to get the job done, HVAC systems stand as the biggest culprit of energy waste. On cold weeks, you want the
heat blasting at all times so that your home is a welcome refuge when you come back from work, errands, or otherwise. Keeping this system running when you’re not home, though, is an unnecessary waste of energy.

You can easily avoid this issue by investing in a programmable thermostat for your new HVAC system. With its automated settings, it can turn your unit down or off when you leave for work and back on just in time for your home to be warm and cozy when you get home. Over a year, this setting can save you up to 10% on your heating and cooling bills.

3. Efficiency Elsewhere

While getting a new HVAC system is an essential component to bringing an older home up to efficiency standards, it’s only half the battle. Implementing energy-saving measures throughout your home will not only make the new unit work better but also allow you to invest in the smallest unit possible for your space. Insulation is a crucial aspect of this energy-saving process, as up to 25% of heat is lost in their small cracks in your walls and roof. Weatherstripping on windows and doors will also prevent heat from escaping.

In the warmer months, other additions apply on top of the insulation. Since Minnesota summers are notoriously hot and humid, your system may have a harder time cooling the saturated air in your home. A whole-home dehumidifier can be a valuable addition to an HVAC upgrade because it removes the humidity from the air, allowing the unit to work more effectively.


Babe helps Paul to be as efficient as possible, and he wants your home’s HVAC system to be the same. With the help of his friends at Blue Ox Heating & Air, you can find the best unit for your home’s needs. For more information about how our Twin Cities, MN, team will support your HVAC needs from installations to maintenance, give us a call today at (612) 217-7759.