Key Features To Consider When You’re Replacing Your Furnace
Even if you’ve been extremely diligent about maintaining your furnace, a replacement at one point or another is inevitable. If you’re in that situation now, it’s probably been a while since you looked at furnaces, and you’re probably quite impressed with how far they’ve come over the years. While you’re shopping for that new furnace, consider these features.
- Variable-speed blower: This feature allows a furnace to deliver air more quietly and slowly than a unit with a single-speed blower. It also helps to ensure a consistent temperature while minimizing drafts. Because it converts AC power to DC, a variable-speed blower uses less electricity. According to engineering studies, these blowers can lower heating costs by as much as 40 percent.
- Variable heat output: This is an option on many furnaces with variable-speed blowers. It automatically adjusts output, depending on heating requirements.
- Ignition system: No more pilot light! Today’s furnaces have intermittent, direct-spark or hot-surface ignitions, thereby eliminating the need for a constant flame. This helps to save energy.
- Two-stage gas valve: This energy-saving component is designed to operate in its first stage when heating requirements are moderate. As the outdoor temperature falls, and heating requirements rise, the valve operates in its second stage. The two-stage design offers significant benefits in terms of savings.
- Heat exchanger: Look for a heat exchanger that’s made of stainless steel for corrosion resistance. Stainless steel construction also maximizes strength against thermal fatigue.
- Premium filters: Many high-efficiency furnaces come with electrostatic or HEPA filters, which do a better job of trapping particulates than standard air filters. An electrostatic filter uses an electrical charge to trap particulates. A HEPA filter, meanwhile, is denser than a standard filter.