How to Choose the Right Furnace

Choosing the right furnace plays an essential role in how high your energy bill gets and keeping you comfy during the winter. A furnace is a heating system that uses either natural gas, electricity or fuel oil to heat your home. This guide can help narrow down the pros and cons of each heating source. When looking for a new furnace, consider these four points.

1. Furnace Size:

The right size of furnace makes a big difference in heating your home. A furnace that is too small will leave some areas in your house cold. A furnace that is too big will overproduce heat and waste money on fuel. Square footage, number of windows, ceiling height, and insulation are factors to consider when deciding the best furnace for your home. You can ask an HVAC contractor for an in-house evaluation to recommend the right size for your home.


2. Differences in Furnace Type:

Gas is the most popular furnace type and comes in three different forms.

Single Stage:

Gas flows at a high rate, operates at around 80% AFUE, and is best for milder climates.

Two-Stage:

Gas can get set to low or high for better efficiency. A thermostat communicates with the furnace to regulate temperature.

Modulating:

Compared to other gas furnace types, modulating regulates heat most precisely and is ideal for colder climates.


Electric: Heats air by moving it over electric coils and distributing the warmed air throughout your home. Not as economical as gas furnaces.

Oil: Best for homeowners who can't access other kinds of fuels.


3. How To Decide Fuel Source:

Gas is usually the least expensive, cheaper to buy and install, and isn't as messy as oil furnaces. If gas supply is not accessible, oil is the next best choice. Electric furnaces are the cheapest to buy and install, but they do not heat large homes very well and will cost the most to operate in energy bills.


4. AFUE Ratings:

It is now required for furnaces to display AFUE ratings so consumers can compare efficiency. The AFUE is the annual heat output of the furnace compared to the total annual energy consumed. An AFUE of 95% means that 95% of the energy heats the home, the other 5% escapes. That doesn't include heat lost through the duct system. Although a higher rating indicates cheaper costs, keep in mind the cost of fuel source. This cost may take away from the furnaces' efficiency.


Considering these points will allow you to save money and choose the right furnace for your home. It's also a great idea to talk to an experienced HVAC technician. Call 72 Degrees today at 965-7272.

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