Five Critical Points When Buying a Furnace

Reader Heating and Cooling home heating and cooling contractors.

Replacing a Furnace is a major investment for homeowners.  Knowing how to purchase a new central heating system will help you make the best choice for your home.

Choosing the best furnace depends on an understanding of 5 main considerations.

5 considerations when buying a new furnace…  

  • The size of your home
  • The size of your furnace space
  • The efficiency rating of the furnace
  • Cost price of the furnace
  • Labor costs

1.  The size of your home:

Knowing the dimensions of your home is key to selecting a heating system that operates at maximum efficiency while providing a very high level of comfort.

        An over-sized furnace will be more expensive to buy and less efficient to operate.   Typical problems include overheating one room, rapid cycling, quickly dissipating heat in poorly insulated drafty areas and reduced life overall.  In this case the oversized furnace will not heat all of the rooms in your home. Quick blasts of hot air indicate to the thermostat optimal temperature is reached prematurely.  Since the furnace is turning on and off more rapidly that normal, gas prices are higher and money is not saved.

       An undersized furnace is problematic as it will not heat your home at is constantly running.  In this scenario your furnace may take allot longer to raise the temperature in your home.

Heating and Cooling professionals like Reader Heating and Cooling in Cleveland use various load calculations to determine the optimal furnace size for your home. The measurements are in BTUs.  A general rule of thumb is 40 to 45 BTU per square foot. Your licensed HVAC contractor will be interested in your floor plan to help with all measurements and calculations.

2.  The size of your furnace space:

The furnace space is an overlooked consideration in many cases.  It is assumed that a new energy efficient unit will fit into the old space with no changes to the duct work.  There are two main considerations to be aware of…Building codes & manufacturers requirements.  Building codes vary from city to city but they allow for the safe operation of your new HVAC Central heating system.  Your licensed professional can advise you as to your exact cities guidelines and manufacturers requirements.

 3.  The efficiency rating of the furnace: 

Understanding energy efficiency ratings helps you control operating costs.  How efficiently a furnace converts gas into heat is reflected in its annual fuel-utilization-efficiency (AFUE) rating, which is measured as a percentage.

A furnace made in the early 1970s may have an energy efficient rating of 65 %. In 2014 the lowest rating would be 80 percent with the most efficient units operating at 97%.

 Furnace prices rise with the level of efficiency. But this is offset with less gas consumption in the harsh and abrasive winters of Cleveland Ohio.

 An energy star designation recognizes the most efficient furnaces.These cutting edge models are easy to spot and are known for energy efficiency.

 4.  Cost price of the furnace

 The cost of the furnace depends on several of the factors discussed so far. The size of your home and the selection of the best furnace to meet your needs.  Prices fluctuate based on BTUs, energy efficiency ratings, blower speeds, manufacturer warranties and brand.

        Other considerations include types of furnaces.

 Single stage – This type of furnace has only one stage – it is “on” or “off”.

Two Stage– There are two stages of operation with this furnace full speed or half speed.

Modulating-This type of furnace can modulate the heat output and air velocity nearly continuously,

5.  Labor Costs

Labor costs fluctuate in the market based on licensing, contractor experience, reputation, scheduling and levels of expertise. You are encouraged to shop around but I recommend a family owned multi generational business whose reputation is firmly established.

As a consumer you should ask for testimonials of satisfied customers before making the very important decision to install your furnace.

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