An Easy Guide To Buying A Furnace
A furnace is a big investment, and if you find yourself in the position of replacing the one you’ve had for a decade or so, you certainly want to make a good choice and get the most for your money. Finding the right replacement might seem like a complicated undertaking. But really, it can be fairly easy with the right information and the assistance of a reputable HVAC professional. Here’s an easy guide to buying a furnace. Pay attention to these tips, and you’ll find a furnace that will serve you well for many years.
- Study the annual fuel utilization ratings. Simply put, this is how much heat you will get for every dollar you spend on fuel. For example, an AFUE rating of 89 percent means you will get 89 cents of heat for every dollar you spend. Mid-efficiency furnaces have AFUE ratings of 80 to 83 percent. High-efficiency furnaces have AFUE ratings of 90 to 97 percent. They tend to be more expensive, but their energy savings can mean a relatively quick payback.
- Compare the EnergyGuide labels. These are the bright yellow stickers that you’ll find on the units you’re looking at. They provide a wealth of information, including efficiency information. The Federal Trade Commission, which runs the EnergyGuide program, has modified the stickers to include region-specific information. Any system you purchase should have your state listed under the yellow sticker.
- Make sure your furnace is correctly sized. A qualified heating contractor will assess your home to determine its heating load, which is based on factors including your insulation, the number and location of windows in your home and the size and orientation of your home. With that information, he can determine the size of your furnace. This is necessary because a unit that is too big will cycle on and off too frequently, and one that is too small will have to work harder than it should. Weatherize your home to reduce its heating load before you get your new furnace, and you might be able to buy a smaller, less expensive unit.
- Once your furnace is installed, have it maintained regularly to ensure warranty compliance. Regular maintenance will also help to ensure your new unit’s longevity and efficiency. Small problems will be found and fixed before they become big issues. Also, don’t forget to regularly check the filter and change it as soon as it looks dirty.