When you shop for a new furnace, the two most crucial factors to consider are the size of the furnace and its energy efficiency. Of the two, paying special attention to the sizing process will help you get the best performance from the system.
Choosing the right size furnace for your home will have short- and long-term consequences for your comfort, energy bills and the lifetime of the system. The HVAC contractor you select should perform a load calculation for your home using Manual J software to find the best fit. While your home’s size is part of the equation, there’s more to it, including:
- Your home’s overall energy efficiency
- Cubic footage you want to heat
- Layout of the home
- Heat you create indoors
- Number of family members and their ages
- Temperature preferences
Skipping the sizing process and going by the size of existing equipment may result in an over- or under-sized system that increases energy consumption and reduces the new system’s life span. You may also find during the sizing process that you can easily and affordably seal air leaks and add insulation to lower your heating load, resulting in a smaller furnace that has a lower cost.
Heating efficiency for combustion heating systems is measured by their annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE), which starts at 80. This reflects the percentage of the fuel the equipment uses to heat your home, as opposed to total usage. A system with an 80 AFUE uses 80 percent of the fuel it uses to heat, as opposed to wasting it up the chimney.
When shop for a new furnace, you’ll find that systems with a higher AFUE cost more. The most efficient systems available have ratings that reach the high 90s. Since winters can be protracted and harsh in our area, better efficiency translates to lower heating bills over the system’s lifetime.
The pros at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing will provide expert guidance as you shop for a new furnace. We’ve provided top-notch HVAC services for greater Cincinnati homeowners for more than 100 years.
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