Replacing a Furnace? 3 Things to Think About
Replacing a furnace is a big and important task that most homeowners must do at some point. In order to pick a new furnace to install, here are three things to consider.
Before you order a new furnace with the same heating capacity as the one you’re replacing, slow down and take some time to research your needs. Most furnaces are actually larger than they need to be, and an oversized furnace will cost more to purchase, may raise your energy bills, will wear out sooner, and may not provide even heating in your home. The most common reason that furnaces are oversized is that the contractor bases the sizing decision on the square footage of their home or just chooses the same capacity you had before. Instead, furnace sizing should be based on the unique heating properties of your home, along with its size, layout and other factors. In order to determine the best size for you, work with your HVAC professional to use the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s Manual J, which is the industry protocol for calculating your home’s heating load, an essential step in sizing and replacing a furnace in a residence.
Furnaces are expensive, but you can lessen the cost by finding a furnace with the right efficiency for your home. Although more efficient furnaces will cost you more upfront, you will save money on your energy bills over time. Try to compare multiple models to determine how much you would save on your energy bills, and if those savings will justify the extra initial expense.
3. Fuel source
Chances are you haven’t replaced your furnace in a long time, which means a lot has changed. Don’t automatically get a furnace that uses the same fuel that your old furnace did. Compare the cost and availability of each fuel source, and then consider the likelihood that either will change substantially over time. Ideally, find a fuel that is readily available, affordable and relatively environment friendly. In most cases, you’ll find that natural gas is still your best choice if there’s a natural gas hookup already in your home. Since replacing a furnace is so important, consult with an HVAC professional to get the best furnace for your home.
If you need help in Wilmington or the surrounding area, contact Sobieski Services. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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