How to Choose the Right Furnace in 5 Easy Steps
When the time comes to replace your old heater, you are faced with the decision of staying with the same brand you currently have installed or posibly choosing a different and more energy efficient brand. Choose the right furnace, and you are sure to experience comfort and security when the temperatures begin to drop here in Ventura County. The right furnace not only makes sure you, and everyone else in your home, are warm and toasty when temperatures dip. The best furnace will also keep you from spending too much on heating costs. How do you end up with a furnace that delivers on all these benefits?
For starters, a cheap price tag is not always the right way to go when shopping for a furnace. What’s cheap does not exactly mean better energy efficiency and greater comfort. Price is certainly a factor but quality is important also; here’s how to choose the right furnace in five easy steps.
1. Look for an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating higher than 80 percent.
Furnace models that come with Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings greater than 80 percent means more heat is captured by your heating appliance. The higher the AFUE rating, the greater the efficiency. So furnaces that have 90 percent AFUE ratings will produce heat with 90 percent of the fuel. California tends to have higher efficiency standars than other states. Your HVAC Contractor will be able to educate you on the different AFUE options you have.
2. Think about your options for fuel.
Natural gas is known as a clean and inexpensive fuel source for your furnace. Areas not served by natural gas lines may go with liquefied propane. Other options include electricity, wood, and oil. An electric furnace will have a higher AFUE rating since it doesn’t have a flue, which allows heat to escape. It usually provides 100 percent AFUE rating. But electricity is more expensive than fossil fuels. Depending on the type of Furnace you currently have, you are likely to stay with the same fuel option you already have set up.
3. Consider the size of the furnace unit.
The right unit size for your furnace will mean better efficiency. Also, you don’t have to spend more than what is necessary when you pay for a unit that is too large. The size of the unit is tied directly to the size and square footage of your home. Your HVAC contractor will have to factor in the insulation values, the number of windows, and the size of the heating space. If you have added an extension to your home, you may need a bigger furnace unit.
4. Don’t forget to factor in the location of your unit.
You can have your furnace unit installed indoors or outdoors. For colder climates, outdoor furnaces may require more protection from low temperatures. Meanwhile, indoor units may affect venting or exhausting carbon monoxide fumes from the generated heat. Your furnace it typically located in a closet or garage.
5. Consider the overall costs.
Finally, the cost of your furnace does not end with the price of the unit. Other costs to think about include the maintenance cost and the fuel cost (or electricity cost); you may also need to pay for delivery fees on oil and liquefied propane. Although many Southern California homes do not use propane unless they are inland and on large acerage.