At this time of year, many homeowners are starting to use their furnace in earnest and discovering that it’s struggling. This is a tricky situation; with advanced planning a year in advance, there is plenty of time to make a more informed purchasing decision. But, when the weather is getting colder, and you need a furnace fast a quick, it’s easy to make a rash decision. A new furnace is a major purchase, even if you get a great deal, there are four key considerations that you need to bear in mind before you make a commitment to buy.
- Choosing the Correct Furnace Size
Many homeowners simply choose the lowest price furnace that they can afford and install it as quickly as possible. Others may buy the largest furnace with the mistaken belief that a larger furnace is always the best choice. Both of these approaches are wrong, and it’s important to get the right size of furnace to match your home.
Sizing a furnace properly requires a complex formula, and you need an HVAC technician to apply these calculations to your home. There are online calculators that fulfill a similar function, but by their nature, these are general tools that cannot be applied to a specific home. So, it’s important that the formula is tailored to the home where the furnace will be installed to get the best results.
Some of the key factors in furnace sizing calculations include the size and layout of the home, the insulation levels, the type of windows used, the electrical supply requirements, and the integrity of seals around doors and windows. As you can see, this information is very specific to your home, and it cannot be replicated remotely.
Generally speaking, a larger furnace will cost more to buy and run when compared to a smaller unit, and this is how an accurate calculation can save you money. If you know the exact size of the furnace that you need, you can buy a unit that’s smaller and well suited to your home. This is a great way to reduce the up front costs and the operating costs after the new furnace has been installed.
- Maximize Energy Efficiency
A furnace sizing calculation is necessary to find the correct size of furnace to suit your home. But, when it comes to the energy efficiency of your new furnace, it’s easier to find the right model. Generally speaking, the more energy efficient a furnace is, the more it’s going to cost. This may deter some homeowners from choosing an energy efficient furnace, but this is a short term way to think about these furnaces.
Over the medium to long term, an energy efficient furnace will cost less to run. In many cases, the higher up front costs are recouped in a relatively short period of time. This makes an energy efficient furnace a sound investment for anyone that wants to reduce their heating costs.
It’s also worth mentioning that improving energy efficiency is better for the environment. If you want to live in a greener home, installing an energy efficient furnace will is a great way to use less energy. The best part is that you can help the environment without compromising on your levels of indoor comfort.
- Choosing Your Furnace Features
A basic furnace can be effective for home heating, but there are advanced features available that can take your furnace to the next level. Adding one or more features to a furnace can make it easier to use, more convenient and more cost effective to run. Let’s take a look at two of the most popular advanced features that people add to their furnaces.
Many homeowners now add a variable speed blower to their new furnace. This allows them to set their fan to different speeds to save money on operating costs during mild weather periods. When the fan is spinning at a slower speed, it uses less energy, and this translates into lower energy bills. It’s also a great way to improve indoor circulation even if the furnace isn’t running at other times of the year.
Another popular furnace feature is a modulating gas valve, and this can really save you a great deal of money over the lifespan of the unit. A modulating gas valve is also known as a two stage valve, and it’s a better option compared to a standard single stage gas valve found on most basic furnaces. A single gas valve can only turn on the furnace at full power, but a two stage valve can be turned on using partial power to save energy.
- The Furnace Installation Timeframe
Scheduling a new furnace installation when the weather is warmer is easier, and you may not need to wait too long to get the work completed. But, once the colder weather arrives, many HVAC companies are hard at work repairing and replacing furnaces. This can make it difficult to arrange a load calculation and a subsequent installation.
It’s important to use any time you have wisely, and smart scheduling can really help. Getting the load calculation first is important; this needs to happen before you start looking at furnaces. Bear in mind that you need the furnace before the installation date, and your HVAC company can help you if you get them involved earlier.
When you need to change your furnace in a hurry, it’s easy to make snap decisions that could waste energy and money. A poorly sized and inefficient furnace may not heat your home well, and it could cost more to run. Taking some time to examine your options and a professional load calculation will help you to narrow your search for a new furnace. Once you have a model in mind, it’s worth exploring the advanced features to improve the functionality and efficiency of your heating systems. If you want to know more about choosing and installing a new furnace, contact your local HVAC specialists for expert help and advice today.