Tips for Buying a New Furnace | Ravinia Plumbing
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Tips for Buying a New Furnace

  • Categories: Heating
  • Date: October 28, 2021
Tips for Buying a New Furnace

You’ve decided to buy a new furnace.  Maybe it’s been making strange noises.  Or your heating bills are going up.  Or you got tired of paying for more and more expensive repairs.  Or maybe your furnace is old and you want to proactively replace it before it fails.  

These are all valid reasons.  If you are in the market for a new furnace or heating system, here are some things to consider.

  1. Size.  Size is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs), which is the standard unit of heat.  The amount of BTUs you need will be determined by the climate as well as your home’s square footage, among other factors.  Your HVAC contractor should conduct a load calculation to determine the right sized unit for your home.  
  2. Gas vs. electric furnace.
    1. Gas furnaces heat the air with a gas burner and then distribute that warm air through your home’s ductwork.  Gas furnaces are generally more expensive than electric furnaces but will have lower operating costs due to the comparatively low cost of natural gas (even with rising costs).  Of course, you need a gas line coming into your home.
    2. Electric furnaces use electric heating elements to heat the home, as opposed to gas burners.  They cost less to install than gas furnaces but are more expensive to operate.  With electric furnaces you do not have to worry about a live flame or potential gas leaks. 
  3. Fuel efficiency.  If you decide on a gas furnace and want to keep your heating bills down, you will want a furnace with a high Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating.  This rating calculates the efficiency of gas furnaces.  High-efficiency units ranging from 90% to 97% AFUE are the best choice.  You may also be able to get a utility rebate for a high efficiency furnace.  
  4. What type of furnace?  There are three basic types:
    1. Single-stage.  This is the most common type of furnace.  It is either full on or full off.  It runs until it reaches the desired temperature set at the thermostat, then shuts down.
    2. Two-stage (multistage).  These units have a smaller flame for mild temperatures and a bigger one for colder temps.  These furnaces provide more constant, steadier heat than single-stage units.  The cycles run longer and provide greater levels of comfort.  They keep your home within one degree of the set temperature.
    3. Modulating.  These are the preferred systems as they keep your home within about 0.5 degrees of the setting.  That is because the flame modulates with more precision than even a two-stage unit.  
  5. Motors.  Newer units can come with high-performance motors, also known as electronically communicated motors (ECMs).  These motors vary the speed in response to heating needs.  These motors provide even greater comfort, and since they operate more efficiently, can lower heating bills.  These more advanced motors also do not add significantly to cost.  
  6. Thermostats.  Wi-Fi thermostats allow you to preset the settings for your home based upon time, day of week, whether you are away, etc.  Make sure the thermostat is compatible with your furnace.  More importantly, these thermostats can alert you to a problem with your HVAC system if you are away.
  7. Your HVAC contractor.  As important as the unit itself is the contractor you select.  Make sure you know the following, either through online sources or your friends and family:
    1. How long the company has been in business
    2. How reliable they are in emergencies
    3. If they have adequate insurance
    4. If they offer special financing
    5. If they offer maintenance plans

Contact Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric for New Furnace Installation

If you are considering a new furnace, the technicians at Ravinia Plumbing can help you select the right unit for your home.  We are an authorized dealer of Carrier heating and cooling products, and we are an eight-time winner of Carrier’s President’s Award, given to firms that display excellent customer service. We’ve been in business since 1928, and we’ve made a name for ourselves as one of the most trusted and reliable plumbing, sewer, heating and air conditioning, and electrical companies in Chicagoland. Contact Ravinia Plumbing today to schedule an appointment.

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Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric
575 Bond St,
Lincolnshire, IL 60069
P: (847) 579-5565
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