If your forced-air furnace is starting to get up in years or has been struggling to properly heat your home, or if it has frequent repair problems or your fuel bills have been rising, it’s probably time to consider a high-efficiency furnace replacement.
When it comes down to deciding on a furnace replacement, the most essential factors include:
- Fuel options: If your home has a natural gas line from outside, this is your best choice for fuel. Many homes, however, particularly in rural areas, either use propane or fuel oil, which must be purchased and stored in tanks just outside the home. If you have a new construction, you’ll want to talk to your HVAC contractor about your options. Many homeowners in recent years have been gravitating toward air-source heat pumps, including ductless mini-splits.
- Efficiency rating: Efficiency, as shown by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) percentage, indicates how much of the fuel used by a furnace is converted into heat for your home. For instance, an AFUE 70 percent furnace turns 70 percent of the fuel it burns into heat. This means that 30 percent of the energy goes up the chimney flue. Nowadays, high-efficiency furnaces usually start at AFUE 90 percent, with AFUE numbers rising nearly to 100 percent.
- Size: Another essential factor relating to furnace replacement is the size of the unit. Some homeowners make the mistake of assuming that bigger is always better, but this isn’t necessarily the case. An oversized furnace will cycle on and off frequently, wearing out components prematurely, wasting fuel, and not delivering balanced heating. A furnace that’s too small, not surprisingly, will struggle to heat your home during the coldest days.
- Features: Modern furnaces are typically equipped with energy-efficiency features, including variable speed blower motors, which adjust their speed according to climate conditions in the home; sealed combustion, which maximizes the heat produced by fuel; two-stage gas valves, which modulate how much fuel is getting to the burners, depending on heating needs; dual heat exchangers, which extract more heat from the combustion process; and electronic ignition systems, which ignite burners automatically without the need for pilot lights.
At Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing, we know how challenging a furnace replacement decision can be. Serving the Greater Cleveland area, our professionals are ready to help you find a quality high-efficiency furnace foryour home.
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Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace replacementsand other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
For those Do it Yourselfers who would rather take control of your own indoor comfort, you can shop our online store for replacement parts, products and accessories!
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