Installing a new furnace is a great way to keep your home more comfortable during the winter, but it's also a large investment. Choosing the right furnace when it's time to upgrade is essential to ensure that you get the performance you need for years to come. Here are three factors to consider when installing a new furnace.
It's not always a good idea to buy the biggest furnace you can afford. The furnace size you need will be determined by the size of your home. If your furnace is too large, it will run in shorter cycles and use more energy by switching on and off more frequently. A furnace that is too small won't provide the heating power that is necessary.
You can approximate the furnace size you need by aiming for 40 to 45 BTU per square foot. However, you should be aware that this is an estimate, and consulting a licensed contractor is the best way to find the right furnace for your home.
2. Fuel Sources
The three primary fuel types that are available for home furnaces are gas, oil, and electric. If your home already has gas lines installed, a gas furnace will usually be the most economical choice. For homeowners in remote areas without access to gas, electric and oil can provide excellent alternatives.
Electric furnaces are usually smaller, and therefore you will usually pay less up front to have one installed. However, this lower installation cost is offset by the higher annual operating expense. Oil furnaces require regular heating oil deliveries and are not as efficient as other types.
3. Single-Stage vs Modulating
Gas furnaces are available in four different categories based on how they combust fuel: single-stage, two-stage, and modulating. In a single-stage furnace, gas always flows to the heat exchanger at full capacity and valves open and close to control combustion.
Two-stage and modulating furnaces are newer technologies that can vary the rate at which fuel is consumed. Two-stage furnaces operate at a lower capacity most of the time but will reach 100% fuel utilization when heating demands go up. Modulating furnaces have a wide range of fuel utilization capacities that are adjusted more precisely based on the thermostat reading and temperature setting.
Choosing a new furnace requires more consideration than many homeowners realize. Be sure to weigh your options carefully so you can find the right balance of performance and comfort.
For more information, contact a heating installation service today.