When the temperatures crawl below freezing, below zero, nothing is as important as your heating system.
With this last bout of cold, were you all too aware of how well your furnace is working? Did it groan and bang? Did it go into overdrive? Did you notice things you’ve never noticed before? It might be your furnace’s way of telling you it’s time for a replacement.
Never ignore your furnace’s warning signs. Rarely does a furnace go out without giving you a sign. Before you face a cold night without heat, spend some time looking at your options and making the right choice for you.
When comparing two furnaces, you should always select the most efficient furnace you can for what you can afford. Energy efficiency is measured by how much of the energy put into the furnace is converted into heat for your home - annual fuel utilization efficiency or AFUE.
A furnace on the market today must be 80 percent AFUE in order to comply with government regulations. With today’s technology, some furnaces can reach as high as 97 percent AFUE. This means that only 3 percent of the energy moving into the system doesn’t convert into heat, and instead moves up and out the flue.
Indoor Air Quality
Studies show that most of the air we breathe is inside air. That’s why it’s so important to ensure the air you breathe is clean, fresh, and healthy no matter what time of the year. In the winter, every time your furnace turns on, air is pushed through the air filter, out through the ducts, and into your rooms. Make sure your furnace is serviced every year to ensure this process is effective, and that your air filter and ducts are clean and providing you with the best air supply possible.
Variable Speed Blowers
If your furnace is older, you might not be aware of some of the benefits of switching to today’s technology. One of the advances in furnace technology includes variable speed blowers. As the name implies, when you have a variable speed blower, you control the heat moving from the furnace and into your home with more efficiency. You can use a high speed when warming it up, or a lower speed when trying to maintain the temperature. This helps your home feel more comfortable throughout the day, while saving you money in the process.
Bigger isn’t better when it comes to selecting the right furnace. When a contractor quotes you a price and a model, they should perform a calculation to find out what system size you need. This is measured in BTUs - British thermal units. This process can never be done over the phone. A contractor must inspect your home and take many things into consideration, including square footage, window sizing, and more. An improperly sized furnace won’t operate as efficiently as it should, and will burn out sooner than expected.
Are you in the market for a new furnace? What are your top concerns?