As the seasons change and the temperatures drop, the importance of a reliable and efficient heating system becomes paramount – does your old furnace cut it? If you’re a homeowner considering buying a new furnace for your home, there is some important information you need to know before you have a furnace installed.
In this blog from Mission Mechanical, we’ll delve into the critical factors to consider before buying a furnace and why you should work with a qualified heating and cooling contractor for furnace installation.
What to Consider When Buying a Furnace
Efficiency is one of the most crucial factors when it comes to choosing a furnace. The efficiency of a furnace is typically expressed as an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. AFUE measures how effectively a furnace converts fuel to produce heat. Furnaces with higher AFUE ratings are more efficient, meaning they waste less energy and generate lower energy bills.
The minimum AFUE rating for a new furnace is 80%, but it’s essential to aim for a furnace with an AFUE rating of at least 90%. A high-efficiency furnace, with an AFUE rating of 95% or more, may come with a higher initial cost but can save you substantial amounts on your heating bill over time.
Selecting the appropriate size for your furnace is crucial for maintaining a comfortable and efficient home. Oversized furnaces will heat your home quickly but can lead to frequent cycling on and off, resulting in temperature fluctuations, higher energy costs, and unnecessary wear and tear on the heating system. Undersized furnaces, on the other hand, will struggle to fill your home with warm air, leading to discomfort and higher energy costs.
A qualified HVAC contractor will perform a load calculation to determine the right furnace size for your home. This calculation takes into account factors like square footage, insulation, windows, and local climate, ensuring you get the right capacity for your needs.
Furnaces are available in various fuel types, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The most common fuel options for residential furnaces are natural gas, propane, oil, and electricity.
- Natural Gas Furnaces: Natural gas furnaces are an energy efficient option widely used for their cost-effectiveness and heating power. A natural gas furnace tends to have high fuel efficiency and is ideal for regions with natural gas infrastructure.
- Propane Furnaces: Propane gas furnaces are similar to natural gas furnaces but are suitable for areas without natural gas supply.
- Oil Furnaces: Oil furnaces are less common but are still an option in some areas. An oil furnace tends to have lower upfront costs but it can be less efficient and have higher maintenance requirements.
- Electric Furnaces: Electric furnaces are an option in regions with no access to natural gas. An electric furnace is easy to install and has a longer lifespan than a gas furnace, but electric furnaces can be more expensive to operate than a natural gas furnace.
The choice of fuel source should align with your location, furnace cost budget, and heating preferences. Consulting with an HVAC professional will help you determine the best option for your specific situation.
Features and Technology
A new furnace comes equipped with a variety of features and advanced technologies to enhance comfort and energy efficiency. Plus, there are many other types of equipment you can install alongside a new furnace to gain further benefits. These can include:
- Variable-Speed Blower: With a variable-speed motor, the new furnace can adjust the airflow to maintain consistent temperatures and minimize energy consumption.
- Two-Stage or Modulating Furnace Model: Two-stage gas furnaces offer enhanced comfort and efficiency by operating at two different heating levels – a lower stage for milder weather and a higher stage for extreme cold – whereas standard single stage furnaces operate at only one heating capacity level. Modulating furnaces take comfort and efficiency to the next level by continuously adjusting the heating output in response to real-time temperature fluctuations.
- Zoning Systems: Zoning divides your home into different areas that can be individually controlled, providing customized warm air, and energy savings.
- Thermostats: A smart or programmable thermostat allows you to control your furnace remotely, set schedules, and monitor energy usage.
When choosing a new furnace, consider which features align with your heating needs and lifestyle. It’s essential to find a balance between cost and added functionality.
Professional Installation: The Importance of an HVAC Contractor
Now that you’re aware of the crucial factors to consider before purchasing a furnace, let’s emphasize the importance of working with a professional HVAC contractor for furnace installation. Here are several reasons why this partnership is vital:
- Expertise: HVAC contractors have the knowledge and experience to assess your home’s specific heating requirements, ensuring you get the right furnace size, efficiency, and features.
- Proper Installation: A correctly installed furnace is critical for safety and performance. HVAC professionals will ensure the furnace is installed following industry standards and local codes.
- Warranty and Support: Many manufacturers require professional installation to maintain warranty coverage. An HVAC contractor will ensure you receive the full benefits of your warranty.
- Efficiency and Longevity: Professional installation maximizes the efficiency and lifespan of your furnace, saving you money on energy bills and repairs in the long run.
- Safety: Incorrect installation can lead to safety hazards, including gas leaks or carbon monoxide exposure. Working with a licensed contractor minimizes these risks.
Have Your New Furnace Installed by Mission Mechanical
Choosing the right new furnace for your home is a significant decision that impacts your comfort, energy bills, and overall well-being. Equally important is collaborating with a qualified HVAC contractor who can guide you through the selection process, guarantee a proper installation, and provide ongoing support for your heating system.
When it’s time to have a new furnace installed in your Indianapolis area home, turn to the team at Mission Mechanical. We’ll help you sort through the important factors when buying a furnace and provide professional installation so your home has reliable warm air. Contact us today to get started!