If you’re planning to install a new furnace in your home, you’ll want to make sure you find the best one for your needs and also be sure that it’s installed correctly and safely. Here are three factors you should consider when installing a new furnace in your home.
1) What Are My Options?
If you’re looking for a new furnace, one of your first steps should be figuring out what type is best for your home. Options include:
Electric: These systems often use ductless mini-split heat pumps, and they are efficient in homes with high insulation and window area.
Gas: In homes with high ceilings, heating a basement can be difficult. For that reason, some homeowners prefer natural gas furnaces because they operate at lower temperatures and won’t damage materials on lower floors like electric units might.
They also don’t require special ventilation; instead, gas furnaces are vented through an opening in the wall or ceiling called a combustion air intake register—which provides air for combustion—and exhausting through an exhaust pipe that runs outside your home.
If you don’t want to deal with vents or ducts, but still want zoning control, a zoning heat pump is another option. These units typically use two outdoor units and one indoor unit. The outdoor units act as condensers in colder months and as evaporators in warmer months. They are vented separately from gas furnaces and each other; one unit draws outside air for cooling, while another draws inside air for heating. Zoning makes it possible to adjust temperatures without changing your thermostat; instead of adjusting one thermostat upstairs and downstairs, you can adjust them separately. A final option—though not one that’s particularly common—is an electric condensing furnace.
What are your preferences? Some homeowners like zoning, which gives them greater control over temperature zones in their home, but it isn’t necessary for every house. You may also want to factor in any additional ventilation requirements for gas furnaces, because these units require dedicated intake and exhaust vents that provide intake air from outside and exhaust air out of your home. If you have low ceilings or poor indoor air quality and can’t allow combustion gasses into your living space, you might be better off with an electric system. Finally, consider how often you plan on moving within your home.
2) How Much Can I Afford?
There are few financial considerations more important than whether or not you can afford a new heating and cooling system. Because your health and safety are at stake, it’s crucial that you take into account your current financial situation as well as both short-term and long-term expenditures. The best way to do that is with a simple budget: Write down how much you spend on your household’s utilities every month. Estimate how much of that total is spent on cooling and heating.
You’ll also want to consider future expenses. If you want your family to grow over time, whether by natural means or through adoption, it’s important that you think about how much space your family will need in ten years. A well-constructed home should last for decades with proper maintenance and minor renovations—but major renovations can be very expensive. Be sure you take that into account when deciding whether or not a new heating and cooling system is right for your family at that time.
Many people consider factors beyond their home’s size when choosing heating and cooling systems, so it may also be helpful to include other considerations in your calculations. For example, if you plan on building an addition onto your home or moving into a larger house within ten years, it might make sense to invest in a more expensive system now. That’s because more efficient systems will save you money down the road as energy prices rise—but they won’t do you any good if they have been replaced by newer technology by then. On the other hand, don’t forget that bigger systems are bigger investments: You can always add on or move at some point in time later!
3) How Can I Save Money?
Before you decide on which furnace you want, call a company and ask them what they recommend. Professionals like Valley Comfort Heating and Air may be able to offer advice on your options, from price points to features. Plus, if you need professional installation, these companies can connect you with contractors that are qualified for any job. And talk about easy—it’s always good to have someone that can help answer questions!
Is My Heating System Aging?
Just like any machine, a furnace ages over time. While it’s still doing its job well, it may not be able to keep up with your needs anymore. If you notice that your furnace has been showing signs of aging for awhile now—such as frequent repairs or loud noises—you should consider replacing it before it completely fails on you.
What’s My Current Heating System Capable Of?
If you already have a furnace installed, you may wonder how much your system can handle. Every heating system will have different capacity and efficiency ratings—if you’re lucky, yours is rated highly! Although capacity is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units), don’t worry too much about what number to look for. Instead, it’s best to look at how efficient your current unit is on its energy usage reports. The higher the rating, or Energy Factor (EF), the more efficiently your heating system converts fuel into heat. An EF of at least 90% or higher means your unit has an incredibly high efficiency rating and probably isn’t old enough to warrant replacement yet.
Call Valley Comfort Heating and Air
The first thing you need to do is call your current heating and air conditioning provider and ask them if they’ll install a new furnace for you. If so, be sure to verify that it will be a seamless transition from your old system (no down time!). If not, contact another local company who can handle all of your HVAC needs. Asking for quotes gives you an idea of what kind of ballpark costs are and lets you eliminate any companies that don’t fit in with your budget or requirements.
It’s also important to ask about equipment. Will your old system still be serviced by them? If so, when should you call for furnace service and can they adjust things in your current system? Is there anything extra you’ll need to do on your end during installation or once everything is in place? And finally, it may seem obvious, but make sure that you like your HVAC company. You want someone who makes you feel confident and comfortable when they enter your home. If you don’t get that warm fuzzy feeling right away, move on to another HVAC provider! They should want to earn your business by offering honest answers and great customer service.