What to Consider When: Selecting a Furnace
Here are some options and pre-cautions to consider when selecting a furnace for your home.
“Super High Efficiency” or 80%? Living in a country such as ours with harsh winters, you should recoup the additional expense of super-high-efficiency (90% +) furnaces over the unit’s lifetime. Applewood can calculate operating costs, using your current bills; and tell you how the savings compare to your current system.
Repair or Replace? Most experts agree that it’s generally more cost effective to repair your existing furnace than to replace it, but if the heat exchanger or control module needs replacement, a new unit should be considered. This is especially true if your furnace is more than 15 to 20 years old. Proper maintenance, such as cleaning warm-air vents and having your system tuned up periodically, will have money saving benefits in the long term.
Multi-stage burners and variable-speed blowers are among the best features of this generation’s furnaces. During milder weather, the furnace will operate at a slower speed – with less heat output. When temperatures drop the furnace then kicks into normal operating speeds. The result is energy savings and reduced wear and tear – due to the fact that the furnace isn’t always cycling on and off. Units equipped with this advanced technology are also quieter, since they’re not always running on high.
Access the need for an air conditioner. If you plan to install or replace your central air system within the next couple of years, be sure to tell your contractor. He’ll be able to recommend a furnace that’s compatible with an air conditioner that will be compatible with the requirements of your home. In some cases, you might want to put in an air conditioning system simultaneously with a furnace, since installation costs will be less. There may be added benefits such as qualifying for a longer warranty period than if you did both projects separately.
A digital thermostat can cut heating bills by 10% – while maintaining more precise temperature control. Programmable thermostats can keep the house at a lower temperature when you’re not home or at night.
Noise can be a problem. If this concerns you, ask Applewood for the decibel ratings of the furnaces being proposed.
Experts stress the importance of taking your time to find a reliable and qualified air conditioning and heating professional. Contractors should be licensed and have appropriate insurance, liability and workman’s compensation coverage.