Furnace Replacement? 3 Things to Think of First

Are you shopping for a new furnace replacement and confused about efficiency ratings, or concerned with how to select the furnace that most meets your needs – nothing more, nothing less? Use this how-to guide for choosing the right furnace, and rest assured your investment is indeed a wise one.

Furnace Sizing

Before you start pricing and calculating the cost of your furnace replacement, you need to know the size of furnace to install. If you install a furnace that’s too large, you have wasted investment dollars, and the system won’t perform at the peak efficiency for which it was designed – especially with today’s higher-efficiency furnaces

For best results, a skilled HVAC technician should perform a heating load calculation of your home. This process entails a series of measurements and considerations, including square footage of your home, number of occupants, number and size of windows, and home construction materials just to name only a few. Your technician should recommend and calculate the effects that add-on components, such as a zoning system, have on heat gain/loss, too.

Fuel Efficiency and Investment

The fuel efficiency of a furnace is indicated by its annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). The higher its AFUE percentage, the higher the fuel efficiency a furnace delivers. AFUE is simply a calculation of fuel input to heating output during the course of the heating season.

For the moderate climate like ours (as opposed to cold-winter Northern states), it may be more beneficial to go with a mid-efficiency furnace outfitted with a variable-speed blower. The variable-speed blower reduces electricity consumption (not calculated in AFUE), helps provide even and smooth heating, and also helps cooling and dehumidification performance during the cooling season.

Your HVAC technician can advise you on furnace features and extra equipment, and calculate the return on investment (ROI) for the various furnaces, efficiency ratings and extra equipment you are considering. The ROI will show you the lifetime cost – the true cost of the furnace replacement as an investment – so you can make a wise and informed decision.