Shopping for a furnace is one of those big-ticket purchases most homeowners dread. There’s an upside, however—the cost of replacement is offset by the improved energy efficiency of newer models. New furnaces also create less pollution than older models and save you money in the long run.
Before You Buy
Furnace efficiency is measured by and reflected in the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating and expressed as a percent. In the 1970s, a good AFUE was 65 percent, but today’s units must have a minimum AFUE rating of 78, with some as high as 98.
Talk to an HVAC professional to determine the size of the furnace that will fit your needs. A unit that’s too large will lose efficiency by turning on and off more than necessary, while one that’s too small won’ keep you warm and will heat unevenly.
A qualified technician should inspect your home and ask several questions regarding your home comfort. With this information, he or she will perform load calculations using Manual J software. This will determine the proper size needed to handle your home heating needs.
Consider the options available before selecting your new furnace.
- Furnaces are usually available with on-demand ignition systems that alleviate the requirement for a pilot light and increase the AFUE rating.
- Air filtration options can be pricey but deliver cleaner air. These are especially important for family members with allergies or other health concerns.
- Variable-speed blowers and/or heat output can deliver heat more quietly and efficiently than fixed output units.
- Zoned heating requires additional thermostats and hardware, but the money saved and additional comfort provided, especially in larger homes, make it an option to certainly keep in mind.
After you’ve purchased your new furnace, it’s important you commit to maintaining it properly. Changing the filters regularly and scheduling routine preventive maintenance will ensure your comfort and safety, as well as protect your investment.
For more information about what to look for before shopping for a furnace, contact the pros at Wood Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We proudly serve the HVAC needs of homeowners in and around the Texas communities of Mount Pleasant, Sulphur Springs, Pittsburg, Daingerfield, Mount Vernon, Omaha, Naples and Winnsboro.