Is your furnace on, but your house is still ice cold? Have you noticed a rise in your energy bill? Is there soot and dirt on your wall and in the air? Along with cracks, screeching, and a musty odor, these symptoms mean you need a new furnace.
Buying a new furnace will eliminate these worrying signs, and even better, new furnaces can help save 25% on heating bills. Considering that global energy prices keep rising, this is a benefit you cannot miss out on.
When you start shopping around for a new furnace, there are some things to keep in mind. This includes the size of your house and the type of furnace that will work best for it.
Types of Furnaces
There are four types of furnaces to choose from in the U.S. These options include propane, oil, natural gas, and electric furnaces. Each of these furnaces comes with its pros and cons that you must consider before settling on one.
If you have a limited budget, you may find that an electric furnace is the cheapest option. But, because this furnace relies on electricity, you will pay more on your energy bill.
A natural gas furnace is cheaper to run, but you will have to pay for an inspection once a year to help prevent poisonous gas leaks. On the other hand, a gas furnace is more expensive to buy but also uses natural gas. Hence, over the long run, it is cheaper to operate. Gas furnaces are more powerful than their electric counterparts because they heat the air quickly.
An oil furnace functions like a natural gas furnace, except it is not lit directly. An oil furnace will heat your home faster than a natural gas furnace, but you will need an oil tank to run it.
Lastly, a propane furnace works like a natural gas furnace but without a flue. You can use a direct vent, meaning you don’t need a regular inspection. Propane furnaces are highly efficient because you burn less propane than natural gas to get the same amount of heat.
Choosing the Right Furnace
Choosing the right furnace starts with what you prefer as a fuel source. A natural gas furnace may be the best option if you already have a natural gas line in your home. Oil furnaces are messy but heat well. If you want to power your furnace with electricity, you must remember that electric furnaces don’t provide as much warmth as other furnaces.
You must determine the size of your house before buying a furnace. If you choose a furnace too big for the space, it will heat the area too quickly. This will lead to uneven cold and hot spots in your house. In the same way, if you choose a furnace that is too small, you won’t enjoy even heating in your house.
At the same time, you must consider your state’s climate. If you live in a mild climate, you would do well to choose a furnace with a U.S. South ENERGY STAR stamp. For colder climates, your furnace’s ENERGY STAR label should include an AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) of 90 or higher.
The AFUE rating indicates how much fuel is converted into heat. Higher ratings mean lower energy bills and a lesser impact on the environment. Also, high-efficiency furnaces may cost more upfront, but you will save more on energy bills in the long run.
You must consider each furnace’s features to determine which is best for your home. You can choose a variable-speed blower for consistent airflow or two-stage heating that provides mild and full-blast heating, depending on how cold it is outside. Also, consider whether you want a programmable thermostat and a furnace with an air filtration system to remove allergens and dirt.
You can ask an expert to help you find the information you need or recommend furnace models best suited to your house. And always compare quotes first before you put money down for a new furnace.
Don’t Forget about Maintenance
No matter which furnace you choose, you must invest in proper maintenance when necessary. If you don’t maintain your furnace, you will shorten its lifespan and decrease its performance.
Keep Your Home Warm with the Perfect Furnace
These tips will help you keep your home toasty warm throughout winter or, depending on where you live, all year round. An energy-efficient furnace is an investment, not only for your home but also for your health. So, choose wisely and enjoy your perfect furnace for many years.