Perhaps this is the year that you’ve decided to replace your furnace because it has failed or it’s lost too much efficiency, and it’s costing too much to run. Before Winter is the perfect time to get your furnace replaced before the colder weather arrives! In this article, we will provide a brief overview of a residential gas furnace replacement.
An Introduction to Residential Gas Furnaces
When you replace your gas furnace, you want to minimize your costs and deliver the highest level of indoor comfort. The best furnaces are more expensive because they tend to be energy efficient models. When you search for a furnace, choose a model with the best Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating that you can afford. The higher the AFUE percentage, the more energy efficient the furnace will be. Then you can turn your attention to the key features that you would like to have, such as variable speed blowers, air filtration, and zoned heating.
Do You Need to Replace Your Furnace Now?
If your furnace has broken down completely, this is an easy decision to make. But, for most people, this issue is rarely this cut and dried, and it can be hard to make a final decision to replace an aging furnace. Let’s take a look at seven warning signs that anyone can notice if they know what to look for. They are:
- The furnace is more than 12-15 years old.
- The heating system is not supplying enough warmth to the home.
- The repairs are becoming more frequent each year.
- The furnace cycles on and off in an irregular way.
- Your energy bills are constantly increasing.
- You’re starting to notice strange noises in your furnace.
- The indoor air quality (IAQ) is getting worse.
If you’re affected by one or more of these issues, then it may be time to contact a local certified HVAC specialist and ask about a furnace replacement.
Modern Furnace Efficiency
We’ve already touched on this issue, but we can explore it here in a little more detail because it is extremely important. The latest furnaces have far more sensors and safety controls compared to an older unit. The efficiency standards have also changed, and this makes it easier to lower your energy use and save money. The most efficient furnaces don’t even require a chimney, the venting takes place sideways, and the combustion air is drawn in directly from outside. The size of the furnace is also important; it must be matched carefully to the home to avoid “short cycling.” An improperly sized furnace will lack efficiency, it will be less reliable, it will be louder when running, and the effective lifespan may be lowered.
The Importance of a Professional Home Assessment
There are tools available online that are designed to help you match a furnace to your home. But, they are inaccurate for a number of reasons, and they are no replacement for a professional home assessment. These tools are purely based on the square footage of your home, and they don’t take other factors into account. An HVAC professional will assess the insulation levels, the number of windows, the orientation of the home and many other variables to complete an accurate load calculation. This will ensure that your furnace can heat your home efficiently without any loss of indoor comfort.
An Explanation of AFUE Ratings
We mentioned AFUE earlier, every furnace is measured with this rating, and it demonstrates how well the unit converts fuel into heat. Modern energy efficiency standards now prevent the sale of furnaces with an AFUE rating of less than 80%. Most residential furnaces have a rating far higher, and an AFUE rating of 90-98% is considered to be a “high efficiency” furnace. These units are more expensive, but they make far more sense in the medium to long term. The higher the AFUE rating, the faster that you will recoup your investment in energy savings. Also, look for multi-stage burners that can deliver different levels of heating that can be adjusted electronically.
Smart Control Systems
Installing a programmable thermostat or, even better, a smart control system will significantly improve the usability and energy efficiency. A programmable thermostat can be set to turn the system on and off at the desired level. A smart system can be controlled in real time via an app on your favorite mobile device. This means that you can make adjustments at any time and monitor how your HVAC system is performing. So, if you’re delayed at work by an hour, you can set your heating system to come on later remotely on your smartphone. This type of control system allows users to monitor many aspects of their system, including humidity, outdoor and indoor temperature, system efficiency. It will even tell you when to change your air filters!
Should You Convert to a Gas Furnace?
This is a huge question to answer here, there are many factors to consider, and each home will be different. If you have access to gas, you may be curious about the lower price of energy for heating. Although it is true that gas is less expensive than electricity, this is offset by the higher price of a gas furnace and heating system. So, if you opt for the aforementioned high efficiency AFUE rating of 90-98%, you will notice a huge difference in your energy costs. Generally speaking, it’s fair to say that an electrical heating sense makes sense if you’re on a limited budget. But, if you have the funds, a gas furnace makes far more sense in the medium to long term.
The Parts and Labor Warranty
Every high quality furnace will have a product warranty, and you need to understand what it covers and how long it lasts. A typical warranty could cover one or more of the following aspects, they are:
- Manufacturer parts.
- Manufacturer labor.
- Contractor parts and labor.
- A heat exchanger warranty.
Some manufacturers will require a service history to be fulfilled before they honor the provisions of their warranty. So you will need to arrange regular servicing, which is also a great way to keep your heating system running more efficiently.
If you’re interested in replacing your furnace, get in touch with your today.