10 Considerations When Buying a New Furnace
Your furnace is on its last breath, struggling to keep up to the cold temps. You've been putting off the investment, but know its time. There are so many options. What should you be looking for? Talk to professional HVAC companies and go over these ten topics that should reveal what exactly the right fit for your home is.
Efficiency is measured in AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) - the higher the rating, the better! Make sure to consider the upfront cost of the unit compared to the energy savings you will receive. You could very well recoup the upfront cost over the lifespan of the furnace. Better efficiency translates to less energy waste, better performance and lower operating costs.
Programming your new furnace can save on monthly energy bills! By setting schedules around your sleep, work and weekends can pay off. Set your thermostat to work less at night while you sleep, are away at work or away for the weekends. No need to keep a heated home if nobody is there to experience it.
Choosing the correct size of furnace is crucial for comfort and cost. Too small a unit will not be able to keep up to the work of heating your whole home, while too large a unit will cause it to start and stop too often - causing more cycles and wear and tear. Furnace size is measured in BTUs - a licensed HVAC tech is able to make the recommendation based on your home specs.
There are essentially 3 types of furnace burner styles you can get. Single-stage is the cheapest upfront investment. The burner is either on or off. It is the least energy efficient and causes more uneven temps. Two/Dual-stage furnaces can run on high or low. On milder days running on low might be enough to heat your home. They are a little more expensive initially but more energy efficient. A modulating burner can adjust to any level between off and high, allowing your furnace to run at max efficiency despite the temps. It is the most expensive initially, but the most energy efficient you can get.
The fan or blower on the furnace is another item to consider. A single-speed blower is either on or off. A multi-speed blower has a low, medium and high setting - working more efficiently than the single-speed option. A variable-speed blower can run anywhere between off and high - able to make smaller incremental changes - thus being the most energy efficient option and cheapest to run.
If your home is larger and segmented, zoning may become a deciding factor. By using multiple thermostats you can control the temps in certain areas of your home based on occupancy. Zones might be divided into floors, or separated areas. You may prefer cooler temps in bedrooms and warmer temps in the living room.
When shopping around for prices, ensure you know warranty info on furnace and labour. More efficient and expensive furnaces tend to have longer warranties than basic cheaper models. Also ensure the company you select reveals their labour warranty. Often this ends up being a surprise!
Many high efficient furnace qualify for rebates or incentives from utility companies. This can reduce the upfront expense of your new heating system. Ask your HVAC company as they should be in the know about this.
Price will ultimately determine the route your go, but it shouldn't be the sole factor. When looking at cost, weigh the upfront cost and the usage cost. Run those numbers over the projected lifespan of the furnace and break it down to cost per year. That will help you make a better informed decision.
Hiring a proper HVAC company that is qualified to do the work is key. An experienced technician will install your furnace properly and ensure you are getting peak performance from your new investment. Also ask about maintenance packages and annual inspections to keep the lifespan on your furnace the best it can be.
At 4 Seasons Heating, Cooling & Electrical we consider all of these topics when we meet with clients to choose their next furnace. Our sales calls are free and are under no obligation to purchase. All of our pricing is clear and transparent - no surprises on the final bill! Call us 24/7 to book an appointment at (204) 953-5700.