Buying a New Furnace
When winter rolls around one of the most important things is insuring you heating system is working well. That is why when you go to buy a furnace it is important that you take the time to learn about the different options available to you. Characteristics of your new furnace, such as efficiency, size, and type, all have implications on the amount of money you are going to spend to operate the unit during the peak heating season, as well as how long your system is going to perform at peak levels.
For example, you should always go with the most efficient furnace that you can afford. Furnace efficiency is a measurement of how much of the energy put into a furnace is converted into heating power for your home — measured in AFUE (the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency)
Minimum-efficiency furnaces must reach 80 percent AFUE in order to comply with regulations. At the other end of the spectrum, the iQ Drive® modulating gas furnace reaches 97 percent AFUE. With the iQ Drive gas furnace, only 3 percent of the energy you put into the unit escapes up the flue. Essentially, you are using less natural gas to heat your home, which can lower your monthly utility costs.
We at Action Heating and Air Conditioning would like to mention several additional things to keep in mind when purchasing a new home furnace.
Central heating and cooling systems can be laid out two different ways. You can have either a split system or a packaged system.
Split systems are what people commonly associate with heating and air conditioning — comprised of a condensing unit, furnace and coil that sit on top of your furnace. However, many people who don’t have basements, crawl spaces and attics have to choose a system that can provide the same heating and cooling capabilities of a split system without having to find the room for a cumbersome indoor component. If this is the case in your home, you may want to explore your packaged system options.
You can choose between gas, electric or oil heating.
A most economical solution is the electric-powered heat pump. These systems transfer heat from one air stream to another — using less electricity. They also act as an air conditioner during the summer. So, for some homeowners, a heat pump can meet all heating and cooling demands,
Different parts of your home may get hotter or colder faster depending on a number of construction and location factors. If your thermostat is located near one of these areas, you could experience hot and cold spots throughout your home, or you could be using more energy than necessary to keep your home at a set temperature.
A zoning system helps solve both of these problems. These systems divide your home into groups called “zones.” Each zone is controlled by a separate thermostat. Additionally, dampers within your ducts can open or shut off access to different zones in order to even out temperatures throughout your home and make sure you are using just the right amount of energy to keep your home comfortable.
Indoor Air Quality
If you have a furnace in your home, you most likely have a furnace blower that distributes heated and conditioned air throughout your home. Inside your ducts, you could have additional indoor air quality systems that help generate clean air for your home.
Variable Speed Blowers
There are two types of furnace blowers — the variable-speed blower and the fixed-speed blower.
Variable-speed blowers can be beneficial if you want premium home comfort. Variable-speed blowers are able to do just what the name implies — vary the speed of your blower as it distributes air through your home. This means the air being distributed through your home can be a more consistent temperature and the unit will operate quietly.
Heating systems are complicated — meaning not just anyone is going to be able to install a heating system in your home. If you are investing in an efficient system, you should be able to expect the rated efficiency and a poorly installed unit may not be performing at its efficiency potential.
Although the actual furnace will comprise the main chunk of your installation costs, there are other things that need to be taken into consideration when budgeting for a new furnace.
Other costs associated with furnace installation include: the size of the unit, additional fixes that may need to be made to the air distribution system, the costs of labor, indoor air quality features, and more.
Having a correctly sized system is important for overall home comfort. Although a bigger furnace is going to be more expensive, you don’t really have a choice in the matter.
When your contractor comes to your home to give you a quote, they should perform a Manual J load calculation to find out the system size you need (measured in BTUs or tons). This calculation takes your entire home into account — from square footage to window efficiency.
Most furnaces come with a 10-Year Limited Parts Warranty. This normally covers the cost of parts if the unit were to require repair within the 10-year period.
The cost of labor and refrigerant are not included. Be sure and ask your contractor if they offer a labor warranty.
We at Action Heating and Air Conditioning hopes this information was helpful. If you are looking to purchase a new furnace, please allow us to give you a free estimate. We have been installing furnaces in the Mobile and Baldwin County areas since 1997.
If you have any questions any one of trained professionals can gladly answer them for you.
Please call us at 251 272-5900 if we can help.