Replacing a furnace is a big decision. A lot of consideration should go into the decision as to what furnace you install in your home, as you want to make sure you really do have the perfect one. Does it have the features you want (or need)? Does it offer flexibility to work with your home’s already present HVAC system? Does it work with the utility lines or fuel sources you have available? Does it match your efficiency goals? And, perhaps most importantly, is it in your price range?
If all of this sounds like a lot and you aren’t sure where to begin, then this blog is for you. Here are five things to carefully consider when replacing your furnace, as well as some tips to sort through each of them.
The first decision and arguably the most important is what type of furnace you want for your home. The most common type of furnace system is a gas powered furnace—a heating system that burns natural gas to produce heat that warms your home. However, this is not the only type of heating system available. Electric furnaces use electric heating elements to warm the air. Heat pumps collect atmospheric thermal energy from the air outside, compress it, and then send it inside.
Different types of heating systems have different operating costs, different maintenance requirements, and different purchase prices. This is why it’s best to ask your installation pro for some estimates on a few different systems based on what your home is set up to use.
Next, furnace size is an extremely important consideration. A heater that is too large or too small will not be efficient and could present some even more serious problems. A heater that is too small won’t be able to properly warm your home, and it will seemingly run endlessly until it ultimately dies far faster than expected. A heater that is too large will warm your home too fast, resulting in a behavior known as short-cycling. Short-cycling is when your furnace turns on, runs for a few minutes, turns off again, and then turns on again just a few minutes after that. This constant cycle of frequently powering on and then off wastes a ton of energy and is extremely hard on HVAC equipment. Be sure you talk to your installation rep about your home to get the right furnace size for your needs (it may not be the same size as the one you already have).
Energy efficiency is measured with a metric known as SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The higher a SEER rating, the more energy-efficient a system is compared to others of its class. And while a higher SEER system may sound awesome for your wallet, they aren’t always the best choice. Higher SEER systems carry much higher price tags. Likewise, even a lower-SEER system might be a huge step up in energy efficiency.
If your current system runs at a 12 SEER or below, upgrading to even just a 14 SEER will be a pretty sizeable jump in energy efficiency, resulting in some significant financial savings. Jumping to a 16 or 18 SEER will be an even bigger jump.
Different furnace models have different capabilities and features. Some furnaces have the ability to heat at different rates, thanks to what is known as a two-stage blower. Using the slower blower speed allows you to save energy while also injecting your home with heat for a more even temperature curve. Some furnaces have the ability to self-diagnose when they have an issue and report that to you through your home’s automation system (such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home). Still others have the ability to heat different areas of your home at different rates for precisely set temperatures, an ability known as zoning. If you are interested in these or any other features or abilities, talk to your heating installation pro. They can match you with a system that meets these needs while also adhering to the specifications that your home needs.
Finally, furnace cost is something that you need to carefully consider. When you need to replace your furnace, it is crucial to know how much you can afford to spend, either in terms of upfront cost or monthly payment. When you have a number in mind, talk to your installation pro about it and let them know. A good installer will take your budget into consideration when helping you select your new furnace, ensuring you don’t put yourself in a financially difficult situation.
If you are like many others, you may not have the money to outright pay for a new furnace up front. Our friendly financing services offer terms like flexible payment dates, low interest, no interest, and so many other options.Learn more about our great financing opportunities by calling Bay Heating & Air Conditioning at (440) 294-4954 today!