Well before you make that furnace installation appointment, make sure you’ve selected the best furnace for your home and needs. Replacing an outdated, lumbering furnace can make a big difference in your heating bill, especially with the increasing energy costs.
However, it’s not just about saving money. Older furnaces can cause more pollution and don’t heat as steadily as their modern counterparts. You can be greener, save money and be more comfortable all at the same time with a new furnace.
One of the most important considerations is size. Go too small and you won’t be able to heat your home, but too large will have you over-consuming energy and wasting money. Unfortunately, it’s common to find homes with wrong-sized furnaces. Builders or previous homeowners wanted a “safety net,” so they got a furnace that was larger than necessary. The bigger the furnace, the bigger the air ducts and the more expensive the installation.
The Goldilocks of Furnaces
The best way to ensure proper fit is to have an HVAC expert size your furnace needs. The formula takes into account the size and construction of your home, your climate and your personal heating needs. You can technically try to calculate this yourself, but one misplaced decimal or oversight and you might get stuck with a behemoth of a furnace.
You also should know your furnace’s maintenance schedule before it’s installed. Generally, maintenance is recommended at least once per year, or twice just to be safe. However, every manufacturer has different guidelines, and an energy-efficient model may require a little more servicing to maximize eco-friendliness. Maintenance extends the furnace’s life and helps you bypass expensive future repairs.
Many homeowners want an eco-friendly furnace. Natural gas is a common fuel type, and how well the furnace turns gas into heat dictates the annual fuel-utilization-efficiency (AFUE) rating. The higher the AFUE percentage, the more heat that’s produced per unit of gas. Of course you’ll save money, but a higher AFUE score also means less emissions. Today’s furnaces are much more efficient than their ancestors — in the 1970s the average AFUE was 65 percent, while today’s green models can achieve 97 percent.
Unsurprisingly, the cost of an eco-friendly furnace is initially higher than a standard version. However, you can make up that price difference in a few blustery winters. Plus, you may get a tax credit for going eco-friendly. These credits can change year to year, so check with your CPA first.
Ready to start heating things up just in time for winter? Call Sandy Heating & Air Conditioning today to request a size estimate before your furnace installation.