At one point or another, most homeowners need to replace their furnaces. It could be due to age, malfunctions, or other problems. There are three main factors you will need to consider:
- Efficiency Some of the biggest HVAC advancements in the past few decades have come in the form of efficiency improvements. You will spend more upfront to get a more efficient furnace, but your energy bills should also be reduced significantly. When you are comparing furnaces that have different efficiency levels – as measured by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) – consider both the purchase price and operating costs. If the projected energy savings over the first decade of use will more than make up for the extra cost of a high-efficiency (AFUE 90 percent or higher) furnace, it’s worth going with the more efficient unit. As a bonus, using less fuel is good for the environment.
- Type of Fuel There are several different types of fuel that furnaces can be designed to run on, though natural gas is by far the most common. If your home already has a natural gas line and venting, going with gas is probably your best bet. You’ll also have a greater selection of furnaces to choose from. Finally, with ramped-up domestic natural gas production, gas is projected to remain a relatively cheap source of fuel for the foreseeable future.
- Sizing The final factor in furnace replacement is what size furnace you need. The right size for your home depends on many factors, so don’t automatically get a furnace with a similar heating capacity as your previous unit. Most furnaces happen to be oversized, which reduces their efficiency and effectiveness, as well as costs you more upfront. Your contractor should use the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s Manual J to complete a heating load calculation for your home, an essential step in proper furnace sizing. It takes into account a variety of factors including the size and layout of your home, insulation, windows, and airtightness.
For expert help with a furnace replacement in your northern New Jersey home, please contact us at Pipe Works Services Our goal is to help educate our customers in Chatham, NJ, and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Image courtesy of Shutterstock