Buying a new furnace can be a stressful experience. Not only is it a major home investment, but there are so many options—type, efficiency, size, make, model—and companies that offer furnace installation.
In this buyer’s guide, we’re going to walk you through some of the things to consider when you’re in the market for a new heating system.
Ready to get started? Contact your local HVAC company to schedule your free in-home estimate. We make the furnace buying and installation process easy for homeowners.
When do you need to upgrade?
What is the state of your furnace? Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- Age: How old is your furnace? Most furnaces last between 15-20 years and need to be replaced after that point.
- Performance: Does your furnace continue to heat your home to your satisfaction, or do you have cold spots?
- Energy-Efficiency: What do your monthly energy bills look like in the winter? Have they been rising?
If you said yes to any or all of these questions, you should consider buying a new furnace.
5 things to consider when buying a new furnace
- What is the system’s fuel source (and what fits your home?)
You can only buy a furnace that uses the fuel source your home has connections for.
- Gas — Gas furnaces use natural gas to keep the home warm. They are the most energy-efficient compared to other types of furnaces.
- Propane Oil — Propane oil furnaces are significantly more expensive to operate compared to gas furnaces. This is typically the type of furnace used by those living in remote areas with no ready gas connections and limited electrical connections.
- Electric — Electric furnaces are also more expensive to operate compared to gas furnaces. However, since most homes have electrical connections, they remain a popular furnace type.
Another important factor to consider when buying a new furnace is how energy efficient it is. The furnace efficiency is measured by the AFUE, which stands for the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency.
Consider buying a furnace with AFUE of more than 90 percent. They will give you more warmth for your money, which will result in great cost savings in the long run.
Yes, furnace size matters. Your new furnace needs to be right for your square footage and heating needs—too small of a system won’t be able to keep up, while too big of a system will heat inefficiently and constant be starting and stopping.
Furnace size is measured in tons or British Thermal Units (BTU). Determining the right size of furnace for the home requires some calculations. This is why trusted HVAC companies—start the installation process with a free in-home estimate. Our techs need to take measurements of your home to find the right size of heating system for your family’s heating needs.
Ideally, you should select a furnace that has a variable-speed blower. As the name implies, a variable-speed furnace can run at different speeds, providing a wider range of heating to your home depending on the temperature inside.
Over time, variable-speed systems can save you a lot of money on your monthly energy bills. (Here’s a breakdown about how they work in air conditioners). They also provide your home with consistent comfort, without “hot” and “cold” spikes.
This is one of the most important considerations when buying a new furnace. Installation can be the difference between a great-working furnace and one that, well, isn’t.
Of course, that brings us to our final point.