Since you rely on your furnace to get you through the coldest weather, taking time to explore your options when you’re shopping for a new one will pay you back in greater comfort and energy savings. The decisions that you make in the selection process drive its lifetime costs, which is the critical component in making a sound purchase decision.
- Size. Learning the right size for furnaces is the most important part of the purchasing decision. The contractors you interview should conduct a load calculation of your home using Manual J software to determine the BTUs (British thermal units) the system needs.This software takes your home’s overall energy efficiency into consideration, along with its cubic footage and your lifestyle and thermal preferences. Skipping this step often results in a system that’s too large or small, both of which drive up energy costs, reduce comfort and lessen durability.
- Energy efficiency. In our climate, it makes sense to select the most energy efficient furnace your budget allows. Systems with higher efficiency ratings convert more of the fuel they use for heating, rather than wasting it. Combustion heating systems carry AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) ratings. The scale runs from 80 to 100, and higher is better.Upgraded features like variable speed blowers, condensing furnaces, or two-stage furnaces contribute to greater energy efficiency. They do cost more, but their fuel savings offset the initial purchase price over time.
- The warranty. The quality and length of the warranty for the equipment you’re considering can make a difference in its lifetime costs. A long warranty that covers both parts and labor can save you money and prevent discomfort in the event of a breakdown. Higher-quality systems tend to have longer warranties, since they are made with more durable and reliable parts. It’s also important to review the terms of the warranty before making a final decision.
For more information and professional help when selecting a furnace, contact Stack Heating & Cooling. We’ve provided outstanding HVAC services for Cleveland area homeowners since 1976.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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