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Furnaces use fuel, often gas, to heat outdoor air and circulate it within the house. The efficiency of these devices is calculated on the basis of how much gas energy is translated into thermal energy for the house. This ratio is called Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, or AFUE. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the furnace.
York produces three different lines of furnace, each of which has an indoor and an outdoor component. Most of these models have received EnergyStar ratings and Good Housekeeping Seals.
These furnaces are single stage, which means they are either off or operating at full blast. The two Latitude models -- TG8S and TG9S -- have rather different AFUE ratings: 80 and 95.5, respectively. The TG9S receives an EnergyStar certification due to its efficiency.
They are relatively compact at 33" high. They also both use constant blowers and operate quietly.
Some of the models are two-stage, which means they can operate at reduced power when not much heating is necessary; this addition saves energy and decreases noise on milder days.
The heat exchanger in the LX furnaces consists of a tube made from aluminized steel. The units can also be equipped with external air filters to increase air quality. Another optional feature is ClimaTrak®, a cybernetic system that controls the device with climate-based predictions.
The York Affinity series has both low- and high-efficiency models. YM8M and YP8C have AFUEs of only 80. YM9M has an AFUE of 97. YP9C goes up to 98. Both of these figures are quite high; recall that they represent the percentage of energy inputted that ends up directly heating the house. These models are more efficient in part because they start and stop less often.
YP8C and YP9C both use variable-speed blowers to improve efficiency. This simply means that they can operate at different speeds, commensurate with how much heat they need to deliver.
ClimaTrak, comes standard with the affinity models; this device will predict temperatures and adjust operating accordingly based on the climate of the home's region.
All four Affinity furnaces allow users to adjust the desired temperature in tiny increments, and maintain indoor temperatures within 1/2 a degree of the thermostat setting.
Care and Maintenance
Best practices around furnace maintenance mean having it inspected on an annual basis. A good service agreement with a qualified technician can help prevent faulty functioning and energy inefficiency.
Many homeowners change their filters on their own.
The Affinity furnaces come with lifetime warranties on their heat exchanger and ten-year warranties for their parts. All other models have twenty-year warranties for their heat exchangers. LX has a ten-year parts warranty; Latitude has a five-year parts warranty.
For any of these warranties to be fully valid, the consumer must register her product within ninety days of purchase. Otherwise, the warranty will be shortened!