Knowing your house needs a furnace is one thing; knowing what kind of furnace your house needs is another thing. The first one is usually an easy decision, but the latter requires more than just a yes or a no answer. There are several factors that you need to take into consideration when choosing the right heating system that will serve you and your home during the cold season. Read on to help you find out how to choose the right heating system for the next 15 years or more.
Determine the Furnace Components that You Need
Just because you are replacing your furnace does not automatically mean that you need everything else replaced too. If the duct work is in good shape and is serving its purpose efficiently, there really is no need to get a new set installed all throughout your house. However, if you’re switching from something totally different from the usual furnace like a wood stove then you know you will need an entire heating system set up. Knowing what you need will help make the choosing part a little bit easier.
Know the Furnace Fuel Type
Choosing the right replacement furnace for your home also involves knowing the fuel type that your current furnace makes use of. Do you have a gas furnace or an electric heat pump furnace? A gas furnace has a black PVC or copper pipe that runs into the unit and also through an exhaust that goes to the outside of your home. A plug in indicates that you have an electric heat pump furnace. If you are unsure of what the fuel type is, you can always seek guidance from a professional.
Understand Furnace Efficiency Ratings
Another factor to consider when choosing a furnace for your home is efficiency. Furnace efficiency refers to the amount of energy your furnace consumes and how much of this energy is transformed into heat. Today’s furnace models usually achieve a minimum efficiency rating of 78 – 80%. This means that about 20 – 22% of energy is lost during the process of creating heat and is expunged through the chimney. Essentially, 78 – 80 cents of every dollar you spent is converted to heat and 20 – 22 cents go to waste. Understanding furnace efficiency ratings will also help you determine how much you want to spend on a furnace.
Analyze and Compute Your Home’s Heating Needs
After determining the efficiency rating you require, the next step to choosing the perfect furnace is to settle on the size that you need for your unit. Your home’s heating requirements can be efficiently provided by a furnace of the right size. If you are getting a replacement and the previous furnace has worked perfectly in keeping your home warm without wasting so much energy, getting the same size is the easiest route to take. However, if you have made some renovations or expansions in your home, it is important to do the necessary calculation to ensure that you get a heating system that will have optimum performance based on the home’s length, width, and height. There are some automatic calculators that can help you calculate your home’s heating requirements. You can also reach out to your trusted HVAC contractors so they can make a more accurate computation of your heating needs.
Calculate the Payback
If there is one important detail that must be considered when selecting the furnace for your home is your budget or how long it will take you to pay it off. Assuming you have a budget of $1,500 and you want to know how much of an efficiency upgrade you can make without breaking the bank, you can divide the additional price tag of the unit by your savings per year. Your savings on a yearly basis can be computed by taking the difference in efficiency ratings and multiplying it by your annual heating bill. Say the unit’s efficiency rating is 75 – 85% and your annual heating bill is $1,000: (85%-75%) x 1,000. This formula gives you $100 worth of savings per year if you do an upgrade. To calculate the payback, you can divide the extra cost of upgrading your furnace by the computed annual savings and this should give you number of years that you can pay off your high efficiency furnace. The formula should look like this: Extra Cost / Annual Savings = Payback.
Search for Government Kickbacks
Still in line with budget, you can also look for heating systems that offer kickbacks and rebates. There are instances when rebates are offered for purchasing energy saving heating units and the rebates can be claimed instantly and at tax time. The purchase of additional products such as solar power integrated to the entire package can also mean additional credits from the company itself. Canadian government also encourages every consumer to take advantage of highly efficient products. The government gives out grants for those who install high-efficient furnaces and the kickback can be as much as $700. The grants will be awarded after strict home energy audit before and after installation.
Because heating systems require proper insulation, the government also made it a point to reserve some funds for those who are upgrading their home’s insulation. Take advantage of that while you get a new furnace installed.
Finally, finding the right furnace to supply your home’s heating needs require that you get quotes from different companies and compare everything they have to offer – from the unit price to the services they render. It’s always important to look around, do some research, and get all the feedback you need to help you understand how an efficient HVAC system works and how all the other elements such as warranties, service calls, and additional amenities fit right in the picture. By comparing furnaces, you can make sure that you get the best deal and at the same time be at peace knowing that the purchase was worth every dollar you spent.
You can never go wrong when you take the time to do all these steps when choosing the best furnace to keep you, your family, and your home warm and comfortable throughout the winter season. It does take time, effort, and obviously budget to get the perfect deal but when you have successfully completed the task, you will soon find out that some of the hard work and research you had to endure are also applicable to other areas of your home such as plumbing, electricity, air conditioning, etc. If you made it this far, I’m pretty sure you will have the best heating system you can get for your home’s heating needs.