During the coldest months of the year, homeowners often realize that their furnace can’t quite keep up. Even if their home seems to stay warm, they may notice utility bills are suddenly much higher than in recent years. When that happens, a Furnace Replacement becomes a much more attractive option.
But if your home has a gas furnace, the options can seem overwhelming. The more you know, the easier it becomes to make a decision, though. Here are six things you should look for when replacing your gas furnace.
When it comes to choosing a furnace, numbers are everything. Each furnace is given an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating, which communicates how well the unit converts gas into heat for your home. Currently, gas furnaces must offer at least 80 percent fuel efficiency, which is significantly higher than the 65-percent efficiency found in furnaces used in the early 70s. Some of the most Efficient Gas Furnaces on the market have an AFUE of as much as 97 percent.
As any furnace expert will tell you, it’s vital that you choose a furnace that is the right size for your own home. If you buy a furnace that is too small to handle the requirements, you’ll find your house doesn’t get warm enough in cold weather to keep your family comfortable. An Oversized Furnaces will cycle on and off too frequently, which could wear out its components more quickly than if you’d chosen one sized for your home.
Older furnaces could only operate at full force or not at all. Multi-Stage Furnaces can make incremental adjustments to reduce the blower speed as the temperature in the home reaches a comfortable setting. These furnaces are more expensive than single-stage furnaces, since their efficiency rating can often be in the mid-90s.
Inside every furnace is a blower motor that controls the airflow of heat throughout a home. A variable-speed blower can take in information about the environment and adjust its speed accordingly. If a vent is blocked, for instance, the motor can compensate for the issue without any action from the homeowner. Variable-speed blowers also gradually increase their speed, which cuts down on the noise the unit puts out when the heat kicks on.
Modulating Gas Valves
The gas valves inside a furnace can come in three different types: single-stage, two-stage, and modulating. A modulating gas valve furnace is the premium model, offering exact temperature control while using the least amount of energy possible. In addition to keeping utility bills low, these gas valves also keep furnaces quiet and can maintain an exact temperature in your home day and night.
Finally, before making a decision, make sure you read through all documentation and determine exactly what your warranty covers. Often limited warranties only cover certain parts for a small period of time, which won’t help if your furnace completely malfunctions five years after installation. If you choose to purchase an extended warranty, look at the fine print to make sure you’ll get the service you need. You should also ask the HVAC salesperson how warranty repairs will be handled, as well as get an estimate of the turnaround time you can expect when you call for help.
If you’re in the market for a new furnace, it’s important to do your research before you begin shopping. An experienced HVAC Contractor will be able to gather information on your home and recommend the perfect unit. However, it can also be a big help to know just what value higher-priced features can bring to your home before you sign on the dotted line.