What You Need to Know Before Buying a Furnace
Buying a new furnace is a significant investment that will affect the comfort of your home. However, because furnaces last a long time and arent a frequent purchase, choosing between different furnace models can prove overwhelming. There is a lot to consider before purchasing the right furnace, and we’re here to help. Keep reading for tips on how to choose a new furnace for your home’s heating needs.
Know the Different Types Of Furnaces
It is a common type of furnace and features a one-size flame that’s either full-on or full-off. This type regulates temperature within two degrees of the thermostat setting. The furnace produces a revving sound before warm air blows through the vents. Single-speed furnaces run until the desired temperature has been reached.
It is a relatively new furnace type with two flame sizes – a smaller one for mild temperatures and a larger one for colder weather. The two-speed furnace provides more constant heat than the “on and off” system. Its cycles run longer, and the system keeps your home within a degree of the thermostat setting.
Also known as a multistage heater, the modulating furnace is the most efficient. It continuously warms your house within two degrees of the thermostat setting. This design uses modulating heat, where it controls the size of the flame precisely to heat your home consistently.
Choose the Right Heating System
You have many options for heating elements when shopping for high-efficiency furnaces, including electric, gas, and propane furnaces.
They use electric heating elements to warm air then pass through the air ducts. The electric furnace is a great choice for those who want to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide fumes or don’t have access to a natural gas line.
Natural gas furnaces are popular for their affordability. As the name suggests, they use natural gas to heat cold air. They then use a fan to distribute warm air via the home’s ductwork.
While not as energy efficient as gas or electric furnaces, propane heating systems are ideal for areas with regular power outages. They consist of an outdoor unit that delivers propane gas to the surface unit. The propane then burns in a heat exchanger, which helps keep your home warm.
Oil furnaces are a great choice for those who don’t have access to gas lines. They are similar to the natural gas furnace but use oil as the fuel source. They work by vaporizing oil into a fine oil/air mist, igniting burners in the combustion chamber. The heat generated goes through a heat exchanger before being transferred to the air.
Energy Efficiency is Key
Always go for the highest efficiency you can afford. After all, the main reason you are buying a new furnace is to lower energy bills. While pricey upfront, a high-efficiency furnace can reduce your heating bill by 45%. It operates quietly, has lower operating costs, and unlike your older furnace, doesn’t waste energy.
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) is the standard for measuring the efficiency of a furnace. The minimum required AFUE rating is 80%, but aim for a minimum 95% efficiency. Remember that your furnace should be at least 96% efficient to qualify for government rebates.
Find the Correct Size Furnace
You must calculate the heating capacity needed to heat your home before purchasing a new system. It plays a crucial role in the comfort of your home. A new unit that’s too big for your home wastes energy, raising the cost of central heating. On the other hand, a unit that’s too small won’t be able to heat your home even when running at peak efficiency.
Some of the factors you’ll want to consider when calculating the ideal heating power for your home include;
- Square footage of your house
- Ceiling heights
- Insulation quality of the windows and walls
- Climate zone you live in
Consider enlisting the help of an HVAC professional for more accurate furnace sizing.
Consider the Comfort Features
There is a variety of comfort offered by modern furnaces ranging from temperature controls to lower noise levels. Many of these features increase the upfront costs but are worth it as the furnace will serve you for 15-20 years with regular maintenance. Think about which comfort features work best for your home in the long term, and consider prioritizing them when comparing different furnace models.
Higher quality furnaces like single-stage heat and multistage heat units produce less noise. You may also get a unit with a dehumidifier. Be sure to research the different types of thermostats – programmable and non-programmable. Modern thermostats come with an array of features instead of old-fashioned dial thermostats. Some of the thermostat features you’ll come across include;
- Selectable program periods
- Indicator lights
- Touchscreen controls
- Backlit display panel
- Battery operation and backup
Beware of Possible Extra Costs
The furnace cost generally includes parts and labor. However, other costs come into play during the installation process. For instance, you may need to upgrade other heating system elements like the air filter and ductwork when getting the new furnace installed.
The chimney also plays a crucial role in your home’s air conditioning and can affect your monthly energy bill. As such, it’s important to consider it when buying a new furnace. It may need an upgrade, or you may learn you don’t need the chimney at all.
Consider the Zoning Systems in Your Home
Parts of your home heating and cooling at varying rates depending on the construction and other factors. For instance, regular oven use can make the kitchen a “hot zone,” while the bedroom above the garage may be considered a “cold zone” if there is an extra draft. Consider installing multiple thermostats throughout your home to eliminate hot and cold spots. That will increase the efficiency and comfort of your home while lowering energy costs.
Your Furnace Not Working? We Offer Installations, Repairs, and Routine Maintenance
Whether upgrading your gas furnace or installing one in your newly built home, Home Comfort Inc. is here to help. We offer quality installation and regular maintenance to ensure the continued performance and efficiency of your heating and cooling systems.
Call us today at 503.623.2341 or fill out an online form for furnace installation, repair, or annual maintenance services in Salem, Oregon.