It is always better to replace home furnaces that are old and inefficient. Make your choice of a forced air furnace only after you have considered the size of your home, the placement of the device, costs for heating, and above all, the energy efficiency.
You will make the best economical choice if you follow these tips when you buy a furnace of the best quality, that will provide you the comfortable heat your home needs for the years to come.
Finding the right furnace size
The key to have enough heat in the home without spending too much money is to install a furnace that is of the correct size. A small furnace will not be able to heat the house as it needs to be. At the same time it is of no use if you have a furnace that is too big. You may then not have heating problems, but there will be a wastage of fuel, because you will be generating heat that you do not need, and consequently extra money.
For determining the right size it is needed to match the heat output, normally measured in Btus, which are British thermal units, with the size that your home is. You have to consider not just the square footage of your home, but also the ceiling height, the number of windows, and the insulation.
An easy way to determine the size that the new heating furnace needs to be is to have a look at the furnace that you have. If it has been giving you satisfactory heat, then your new furnace can be of the same size. If you have added to the size of your home, then you will obviously need a bigger device. You can get the proper size if you get in an HVAC contractor to evaluate your house. A professional will always be able to tell you how big your furnace should be. Such inspections come at a cost that can be about $300. If your home is bigger than 2000 sq ft you may have to pay $400 or more. This is an additional expense, but well worth it if it means that your home will be properly heated for the next two decades.
Improving energy efficiency: A need for the AFUE rating
AFUE is the annual fuel utilization efficiency and this is one of the most important metrics that you need to look at when you are shopping for a new furnace. The higher the AFUE number, the higher is the efficiency. This will mean that your heating bills every month will be lower. The only thing that can come in the way of this, is that you will need to have a duct system that is intact and that your house is adequately insulated. Problems in these areas can lead to your spending money and wasting heat. If your walls, windows, and doors are not properly insulated, you will not save much money, even with the most efficient of furnaces.
A furnace that has an AFUE rating of over 90 % will cost you a thousand dollars more than a furnace with a rating of 80%, but the savings year over year due to that efficiency makes up for the initial cost. If the geographical area you live in has cold temperatures for many months, you will do well to invest in a furnace that has higher efficiency. What you then save monthly will recoup the cost differential and these savings will continue for a long time. You need not invest in a furnace with higher efficiency if the area where you live has a more moderate climate.
To get the optimal energy efficiency you should install a thermostat that can be programmed. It can reduce the work that your furnace has to do, and this can result in a saving of energy and money. Lower the thermostat when your home is not occupied. You can get a 2% reduction in your heating bill for every degree that you turn down in an eight hour period.
For a furnace to work well for a number of years, this is one key feature that can cost extra money, that can be well worth it.
Long warranty: this will give you the security of a more comprehensive and longer warranty when your purchase is a model that is more expensive and efficient than a budget model. Make sure you check the warranties given both by the manufacturer and the HVAC installer, as they can be different from each other. Have a longer warranty on the heat exchangers.
A high-end filter can ensure better indoor air quality
That a furnace will blow dust particles into the air is no secret, and this can have a negative impact on the home’s air quality. If people in your home have problems related to the lungs or suffer from asthma or other allergies, your furnace is best fitted with an electrostatic filter. The air passing through this filter will be cleaner because it makes use of an electrical charge that helps in trapping the dust particles. You can instead go in for a HEPA filter, which is a high-efficiency particulate arresting filter and can do a similar job. Even if there are no family members that have respiratory problems, a good filter like any of these will give your home the best possible environment.
Never wait for your furnace to break down in the middle of winter and which will need you to scramble for having the new one installed. If your furnace is old, do proper research for new furnaces and schedule its replacement. This will enable you to get a furnace that is of good quality. You will also have the time to get quotes from different HVAC contractors so that you can get the best price. Installation prices can have a wide variance and you must never rush to finalize the first offer that you get. If you live in the north, see that your furnace installation is scheduled for the summer. This is the time when HVAC companies are not busy and will give you a price break.