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Buying a New Furnace

  • Categories: Heating
  • Date: September 17, 2015
Buying a New Furnace

We’ve already had those first cool days of fall.  And you know what happens after cool days?  Cold days.  And that means you’ll need your furnace to be running smoothly to keep the house nice and warm.

Do you need a new furnace?

What you don’t want to have happen, of course, is to have the furnace break down during one of those frigid days.  That’s the worst possible time to need a new furnace.  And while there is no guarantee that even a well-operating furnace won’t break down, here are some things you might want to check now so that you can be proactive and get a new furnace before the Arctic air hits.  You should consider a new furnace if any of the below are true:

  • The furnace is more than 20 years old.  If so, the furnace can break down at any time.  Plus, a newer furnace will be more energy efficient, and will save money in the long run.
  • It has a pilot light and not an electronic or hot-surface ignition.  Pilot lights can go out for a variety of reasons.  If you are not home and it goes out, you can return to a freezing home.
  • The furnace needs more frequent repairs.
  • The furnace is cycling on and off more often than in the past.
  • The furnace is making more noise than it used to.

What to Look for in a New Furnace

So let’s say you decide to invest in a new furnace.  Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • AFUE ratings.  The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating indicates how efficient the furnace is.  In cold weather climates such as ours, you should consider a high-efficiency (AFUE 90 or higher) furnace.  The energy savings will justify the additional cost.
  • Energy Star designation.  Energy Star products meet the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards by reducing energy 20% to 40%, thus also reducing pollution.
  • Two-stage heating.  This type of furnace will operate at low-fire when it is cold but not frigid and on high fire when the additional heat is needed.  This will make the furnace operate more efficiently and help even out the heat distribution.  Furnaces with two-stage heating also tend to be quieter.
  • Programmable thermostat.  These are essential in controlling energy costs by lowering the temperature when you are not home.  You can save 2 percent on your energy costs simply by lowering the thermostat by one degree over an eight hour period.  Now there are thermostats available that can be accessed remotely via a tablet or mobile device.
  • Warranty.  It is vital to get a long-term warranty.  Look for a 20-year or lifetime limited warranty on the heat exchanger and 10-year limited warranty on all remaining components.

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*Based on research conducted January - August 2016