When buying a new furnace, homeowners are usually looking for the best value for their money. Generally they’re trying to find a combination of quality, dependability, efficiency to minimize usage costs, and a reasonable price tag. Here are some things to consider when buying a new furnace.
What choices will I have to make when buying a furnace?
These are primary choices you will have to make when browsing through the different models and brands that are available to you.
1. The Furnace Itself
The majority of equipment manufacturers have 6 or 8 different furnace options with options related to:
- Furnace Efficiency
Good furnaces are efficient. A home with an efficient furnace is comfortable and warm because it provides dependable performance. They’re quiet, don’t have high maintenance costs, and last for a very long time. High-efficiency furnaces generally cost a bit more than their competition, but it’s well worth it given the long term decreased operating costs. It also adds resale value to your home.
How large of a home are you heating? A furnace that effectively heats a small townhouse may not be large enough to handle a big farmhouse. You also don’t want to buy a new furnace that’s too large for your home, since you’ll waste energy and have unnecessarily high operating costs.
- Single Stage, Two Stage or Modulating
Single Stage Gas Valve: These models constantly run at full capacity, even when you don’t need it. This can keep your gas bill higher than necessary.
Two Stage Gas Valve: These start at 65% capacity and only reach full capacity when needed. Most days your furnace will start at full capacity in the cooler morning hours, and then dial back once the sun warms things up a bit. You’ll save gas, which saves money. Another benefit of two stage gas valves is that they tend to be quieter and offer a more consistent temperature.
Modulating Gas Valve: This offers precision temperature control by allowing for more stages, making them capable of controlling household temperatures to within .03 degrees. They are very efficient, cost-effective, and incredibly quiet.
2. Air Quality Filters & Disinfecting
Adding a high efficiency air filter can help reduce allergens and excessive dust in your home. Air purification helps to kill active viruses and bacteria that can cause illness. If you have asthma or allergies, or if you have pets that contribute to extra airborne particles that can cause irritation, this should probably be a top priority for you.
When winter comes, air tends to get very dry indoors. This results in cracked skin, static electricity, and general discomfort. Humidifiers can greatly increase your comfort in the dry winter months.
High efficiency systems should be combined with programmable thermostats that automatically adjust the temperature for you when you’re sleeping or away at work during the day. This boosts efficiency and lowers your operating costs. Some thermostats can even be controlled by your smartphone via WiFi.
Once you have narrowed down your selection based on the above choices, there are other important features to consider while buying a new furnace:
- Type of furnace motor, Energy Star (multi or variable speed may help save money & increase airflow)
- Units that offer better warrantys (like total replacement or lifetime heat exchanger)
- Premium versus Basic Installation (Installation is keep to reliability safety & performance!)
- Insulated blower compartment (reduces operating noise)
- A fully licensed installation company that guarantees workmanship (subcontracting may result in poor quality control)
- A furnace installation that comes with excellent customer support (true 24 hour service).
When buying a new furnace, the best way to proceed is to pick a company that helps you best determine what you and your house’s needs are rather than one that pushes a specific brand. A system that is designed specifically for your comfort is usually the better choice.