Purchasing a new furnace may, on the surface, seem to be simple. But, this can be a significant challenge because this is a major purchase, and there are no guarantees that it’s the right choice to meet all your needs. To help you make the right choices, we’ve put together a list of seven questions that you need to ask before you buy a new furnace.

1.  What is the Fuel Source?

The first question that you need to consider is the fuel source that you want to use for your new furnace. There are three commonly used fuel sources to consider: electricity, oil, and gas. Take some time to check the fuel prices of the suppliers for each fuel source under consideration. The most economical fuel choice may be immediately apparent, but pricing trends can change, and this should be factored into your choices. It’s important to understand that the sizes of furnaces can vary, and this may determine where the furnace is positioned. An oil or propane powered furnace will require more space than an electric model. But, natural gas furnaces are desirable because they provide cleaner energy and they are a viable alternative for homes that do not have a gas connection.

2.  What is the Heating System Type?

Many people think that there is only a single choice when they select a new furnace. But, there are actually two main types of heating systems to consider for a modern central heating system: split and packaged. The split heating system uses a condenser unit and a furnace coil. A packaged system uses heating and cooling components to bring the system up to the desired temperature.

3.  What is the Safety Rating?

The safety rating of any critical system that you install in your home should be a primary concern. Many people are not aware that furnaces are a leading cause of house fires and this is especially true if the equipment is poor quality or poorly serviced. Another major safety concern is the presence of carbon monoxide (CO) gas. Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer because it’s impossible to detect without a dedicated detector. Even if you invest in a furnace with an excellent safety rating, there can be problems if the unit is improperly installed or if the vent is blocked. To ensure that the safety is not compromised, schedule some regular annual maintenance. Well maintained equipment performs at the optimal efficiency, and it’s less likely to fail when you need it most.

4.  What are the Running Costs?

When an older furnace fails, it can be a daunting experience, and purchasing a new furnace is a significant investment. A professional furnace installation can be expensive, but it’s important to understand that this can be a blessing in disguise. Why? Well, although the installation costs are high, they are offset by the improved energy efficiency of a modern furnace. A new furnace will be cheaper to run, and this is especially true if you invest in a high-efficiency model. Depending on your furnace choice, the fuel you choose to use, and how much you use the heating system, you can save a lot of money. Many homeowners recoup the costs of a brand new furnace installation in just a few years.

5.  What is the Energy Efficiency?

Every new furnace has an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. This rating is based upon the latest benchmark criteria and guidelines produced by governmental bodies. To improve energy efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of heating systems, all new furnaces must have an AFUE rating of at least 90%. To better understand the AFUE rating, it’s useful to know that it determines the percentage of energy that is transformed into heat that you can use. So, a furnace with the bare minimum 90% AFUE rating will waste around 10% of the energy used to run it. The higher the AFUE rating, the less fuel that’s wasted as you heat your home. The energy efficiency of the furnace can vary a great deal depending on the make and model you choose. High-efficiency furnaces tend to waste less fuel, and this helps you to recoup the higher initial purchasing costs faster. Many electric furnaces have an AFUE rating of 95 or higher, and the efficiency can vary depending on the installation and positioning of the unit. If you want to get the optimal fuel efficiency for your furnace, it makes good sense to invest in a high-efficiency model and a professional installation.

6.  Is the Furnace Simple to Install?

Carrying on from the previous question, you should be looking at a local approved contractor to install your furnace for you. Aside from the potential safety issues, a professional installation will ensure that the performance and energy efficiency is optimal. As a rule of thumb, it will be simpler and less expensive to install a furnace that has the same fuel source as the old furnace that you’re replacing.

7.  Is the Furnace Noisy?

The noise levels of a furnace are largely determined by the fan and the insulation levels in the combustion chamber. Many modern gas furnaces have a combustion chamber that’s sealed to significantly reduce the noise levels. These furnaces only have an ambient operating sound that is barely perceptible. Another factor that affects the noise levels is the choice between the single-stage, two-stage or multi-stage gas valves. Of these, the multi-stage gas valves tend to be quieter than single-stage models. When it comes to fixed capacity boilers, they are louder than variable or multi-speed models.

In Conclusion

There may be other questions that you may want to ask, such as: Are there rebates available? What is the warranty? And more, but the seven questions we’ve shown in this article should help you to find the ideal furnace to meet all your heating needs. Choosing the right furnace can make your home comfortable and reduce your heating costs. A good heating system can even add significant value to your home. So, it makes good sense to protect that investment with regular annual maintenance and a professional installation.

If you’re considering a new furnace for your home, contact your local heating and cooling specialist today.