Whether you have decided to simply replace your existing furnace with a new one or your old one has bit the dust, you still have quite a few questions regarding gas furnace prices, fuel sources, and the installation and use of a new furnace. The best time to do your research is right now! There are a number of different factors to consider when replacing your furnace, such the type, the size and most importantly what you can afford.
Comparing Replacement Furnace Options
Your HVAC system is the biggest user of energy in your home, somewhere between 35-50% of your energy bill is to keep your house comfortable. The more efficient your furnace is the lower your monthly bills will be. When you shop for a new furnace there is a whole new terminology that you have to learn to pick the best one for you. Here is some terminology you need to familiarize yourself with:
- BTU Output: This indicates how much heat your furnace will be able to generate.
- AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency): This measure your furnace’s efficiency, how much heat it generates for the amount of fuel used.
- Furnace Configuration: “Low boy” furnaces put the blower unit in the back and it is a shorter unit. “High boy” furnaces put the blower unit under the heat exchanger and it is taller.
The type of furnace is determined by the type of fuel it uses to heat your home. There are reasons to choose each one, safety, cost and the cost of fuel will help you to choose. Here are the more common furnace types.
- Gas furnaces: These are probably the most common type of furnaces in the average home. They can last a decade or longer and run on natural gas. Typically natural gas is cheaper than oil or electric and they can run at 90% efficiency.
- Electric furnaces: They are the cheapest to buy and install but you will spend a fortune operating them. It may cost more upfront but gas or even oil will cost you less in the long run.
- Oil furnaces: Oil furnaces used to be very common and there are still many houses that heat using oil. These are great when oil prices are down, but it can get expensive when the price of oil rises. Older furnaces have terrible efficiency, around 65% or even lower. Newer models that are energy star rated are much better.
Buying Your New System
The number one thing that you should be looking for in a new heating system is efficiency. A high efficiency furnace will keep your heating bills down going forward, regardless of the type of fuel your furnace uses. While you are putting in a newer more efficient heating system it’s worth your while to go through your home and find areas where you may be potentially losing heat. Are the windows and doors sealed properly? Do you have digital thermostats? Fix all of these issues when you replace your furnace, your wallet will thank you for it.