Whether you are replacing the gas furnace in your home with a new one or buying a brand-new unit for a custom home you’re building from the ground up, knowing what to look for in your new appliance can save you a lot of money and headache in the long run. From gas furnace prices to furnace sizing to brand reputation and reliability, several important things go into selecting a new gas furnace. Here are five things to remember before you decide on which product to buy.
Natural gas furnaces are the best option available to most homeowners. However, your specific circumstances will dictate whether you are in this majority. Not all homes are hooked up to a natural gas line or even have access to one. If you live in a particularly remote rural area, you might not have the option for gas service. In that case, you’ll want to look at other furnace options, including electric, oil, and propane. Again, though, in most cases, natural gas will be your most viable option for a furnace.
Gas furnace prices are one of the first things anyone thinks about when they are shopping for a new furnace. However, while you should undoubtedly use price points as one of your comparisons between different units, you should not buy based on price alone. Other factors are more important, chief among them unit size and power. The heating output of all furnaces is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs), which can, in turn, tell you whether a unit is powerful enough to heat your home adequately. Furnace sizing is arguably the single trickiest part of buying a new gas furnace, simply because most people don’t know enough about BTUs to tell whether a unit is oversized, undersized, or perfectly sized for their space. Furnace size, in turn, can impact everything from comfort to utility bills to appliance lifespan. Consulting with an HVAC contractor is an excellent way to make sure you appropriately size your new furnace to suit your home.
The brand reputation and product reception:
When in doubt, read gas furnace reviews. Once you know how big you need your gas furnace to be, do some research to find recent, popular furnace appliances with matching BTU output. Your HVAC contractor, of course, can give you some pointers on products or brands, too. However, most customers like to take some ownership of this process, and it’s good for everyone to get to know their furnace before they buy it. Reading reviews will tell you more about performance, reliability, operating cost, longevity, and more—all factors you’ll want to keep in mind when deciding which furnace to buy
Speaking of reliability and longevity, always make sure to check the warranty on a product before you buy it. Think of the guarantee as the manufacturer’s way of putting their money where their mouth is. A short-term warranty, many limitations or fine print, might be a sign of a less reliable appliance. A guarantee that lasts years and years, meanwhile, is akin to a warm blanket—a source of comfort and peace of mind that makes it that much easier to invest.
One of the flaws in considering gas furnace prices as a deciding factor in your purchasing decision is that the sale price of a new furnace only tells part of the story. A furnace might cost less money upfront, but if it is also less efficient, you are going to eventually pay that savings back in the form of your monthly heating bills. A more efficient furnace, meanwhile, may carry a higher price tag, but could indeed save you money in the long run by costing less to run. The good news is that all furnaces are marked with energy efficiency ratings. Read our blog about the two common rating systems—Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) and Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)—to learn more about how to compare the efficiency of different furnace units.
There are other factors you might consider, as well. For instance, if you’re installing a new furnace in an older home, it may be worth thinking about trading out your windows for more modern, energy-efficient alternatives, or checking the insulation around the house (especially around the ducts) to make sure you aren’t losing heat anywhere. If you are going to invest in a brand-new gas furnace, you deserve to know that it is working to the best of its ability. If you need more assistance picking out the right gas furnace for you, call your trusted HVAC contractor. They will be able to provide helpful pointers on comparing different units, picking out the most trusted brands, and much more.