Do you consider yourself to be an educated consumer? When it comes time to purchase a new furnace for your home, it’s imperative that you do the research and find answers to a few important questions first. If you have ever lived in a home with rooms that never seem to get warm enough, you should agree about the importance of doing your homework before selecting a new furnace. Here are three key things to know prior to engaging a contractor for a new furnace installation:
- Furnace Efficiency: When shopping for a new furnace, check the efficiency rating in order to select a unit that will offer energy savings over time. In particular, you should be shopping for a high-efficiency furnace with annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating above 90 percent. The higher the percentage, the more fuel gets converted into heat for your home. In our cold-winter climate, higher efficiency delivers more energy savings than in a warmer climate.
- Furnace Size: One critical factor to determine prior to a furnace installation is the optimal size of the unit. When you contact an HVAC contractor, he will perform a load calculation that will evaluate such factors as the size and layout of your home and the quality of the home insulation. This is to determine a furnace size that can to provide the heating capacity needed for your home, but without being oversized, which causes a variety of problems.
- Fuel Source: In addition to furnace efficiency and size, when shopping for a new furnace, don’t simply go out and purchase another furnace with the same type of fuel source as your existing furnace. Rather, start out comparing pricing and availability of various fuel sources to be sure that your new furnace will be the most economical and practical unit available for your home. While you’ll likely find that natural gas is the way to go, both in terms of costs and compatibility with your overall HVAC system, that’s not always the case.
As you begin to research the installation of a new furnace, determine the appropriate size of the new furnace and the correct efficiency, and establish that you are purchasing a system that has the most economical and appropriate fuel source for you.