Replacing your gas furnace: tips and things to know before you buy
If you’ve been thinking about replacing your furnace, there’s never been a better time to do so. Newer furnace models offer modern features and much higher efficiency, delivering on convenience and comfort while saving you money on your heating bill.
But, how do you know what furnace is right for you? While most modern furnaces offer similar features, having a better understanding of furnace components will help you when it comes time to shortlist and finally choosing the furnace that is right for you.
Here are some things you should consider when it comes time to make a decision:
AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. The higher the number, the better. High-efficiency units are somewhere between 90 and 98 percent and you should not even consider one that is less than 80 percent. Older furnaces are in the range of 65 percent and sometimes less. High-efficiency furnaces may be more expensive, but they will save you money over the long term.
Rebates may be available:
Some high-efficiency units will qualify you for a rebate from your local energy company. In
some cases, this can be as much as $400.
The size of your furnace has a direct correlation to how much heat it puts out. A furnace system
that is too small may not heat your space efficiently or enough, and one that is too large may
cost you more for maintenance and repairs. To be sure you are getting the right size furnace for
your needs, consult a professional contractor or HVAC specialist.
Smart thermostats are common these days. They allow you to program your furnace according
to your specific comfort needs. This may include zone heating so you can heat or cool specific
areas of your home, or an “away” setting for when you’re not at home. Many smart
thermostats can be controlled with a smartphone app, letting you adjust the heat from the
comfort of your couch or from a remote location.
Fixed blowers or variable-speed blowers:
The blower is the component responsible for pushing the heat through the ducts in your home.
Fixed-speed blowers have one velocity – they are either on or off. Variable speed blowers are
perfect if you are using a smart thermostat as they can change the airflow based on the settings
Pilot systems vs. electronic ignition systems:
If your gas furnace has a pilot, it remains on all the time. An electronic ignition system (hot
surface ignition (HSI) or direct spark ignition) will save you money on gas and electricity as it
doesn’t run constantly.
Air quality enhancements:
New gas furnaces offer several options that enhance the air quality in your home. They can be
stand-alone units or can be a component of your HVAC system. Air cleaners filter out dust,
odors, and particles and may be beneficial to those of you who suffer from asthma or airborne
allergies. A humidifier may also be added, helping you to balance the humidity in the dryer
winter months when you tend to use more heat. UV lights can also be added to help eliminate
harmful bacteria as the air moves through the HVAC system.
Are you ready to replace your gas furnace? Call the experts at AC Plus today to schedule an on-
site visit. We’d be happy to help you choose a furnace that is right for your needs.