You've decided to take the plunge and replace your old furnace. This is a great decision since buying a new furnace should lead to a more comfortable and energy-efficient home. While a decent furnace can be expensive, it will most likely pay for itself over time in the form of lower energy bills and fewer repairs. In order to maximize these benefits and ensure you get many years of warmth from your new appliance, here are five things to consider when furnace shopping:
Check the Efficiency Rating
The government requires furnace manufacturers to clearly display efficiency ratings, in the form of annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE), so that you can compare your various options. The higher your new furnace's efficiency rating, the less energy it will need to keep your home comfortably warm.
This means your utility bills will be lower and you can also feel good about knowing your more efficient furnace is better for the environment. Furnaces with higher efficiency ratings do tend to be more expensive than those with lower ratings, so a good rule of thumb is to buy a furnace with the highest efficiency rating that you can comfortably afford.
Choose the Right Size
When your HVAC contractor comes to inspect your home for furnace installation, they should thoroughly evaluate it to determine the appropriate size of heater for your home. This HVAC evaluation will typically take into consideration factors such as your square footage, the efficiency of your windows, and how many rooms you have.
Choosing the correct size furnace for your home is very important because if your furnace is too small your home may not be adequately heated, and if it's too big you may end up paying more money than you need to both for the furnace and on your heating bills.
Consider a Zoning System
If your old heating system left some parts of the house less comfortable than others, you should consider having your HVAC company add a zoning system with your new furnace. A zoning system lets you divide your home into "zones" and gives you full control over how much heat goes to each zone. So, instead of forcing the same amount of heat to attempt to spread out through your whole home, you can keep the zones you spend the most time in warmer, while rooms that get little use can use less energy.
For example, you may wish to make the guest bedroom its own zone, and keep it a little on the cooler side until you have guests visiting.
Check for Rebates and Credits
If you buy an energy-efficient furnace, you may qualify for a federal tax credit to help offset the cost. This is part of a government initiative to encourage consumers to buy energy-efficient appliances. Be sure to check with your tax accountant to see if your purchase will qualify. In addition, some local utility companies offer rebate programs for new furnace purchases, so it is worth a call to your own utility company just in case they offer such a program.
Look Into Heat Pumps
An alternative to a conventional furnace is a heat pump. A heat pump warms your home in the winter and cools it in the summer, which means you don't have to purchase a separate air conditioning system. Heat pumps tend to be very energy efficient, but they work best in climates with relatively mild winters.
Purchasing a new furnace isn't something to rush into. By taking your time and investigating your options, you will help ensure that you are happy with your choice of furnace and that your home stays as comfortable as possible in the winter. Check out a site like http://www.alliedairheat.com for more information on your heating options.