You’ve decided to purchase a new furnace or have had the decision made for you. It just may be time because your unit is 15 years old or older. Or maybe the repair bills are getting too high.  Or your utility costs keep rising. If you have decided to purchase a new furnace, here are some things to keep in mind.

The first thing to decide is whether you want a natural gas furnace or an electric furnace. Natural gas furnaces are more popular because they are less expensive to operate, although perhaps more expensive to install. So, we will focus on those. Here are other factors to consider:

  1. Size. The most important thing to determine is size. You need to get the right size furnace. Too small and it won’t heat your home properly. Too big and you are just wasting energy and money. Furnace size is measured in BTUs, or British Thermal Units.  An HVAC contractor will need to conduct a load calculation to determine the right size.  This analysis will include factors such as the square footage of your home, the quality of your insulation, ceiling height, windows, directional exposure, etc.
  2. Efficiency. After determining size, you need to determine how efficient you want your unit to be. The greater the efficiency, the higher the cost. But that initial higher cost will be offset by lower utility bills during the life of your furnace. The recommendation is to get the highest efficiency unit you can afford. Efficiency is measured in AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency). The higher the AFUE, the greater the efficiency. High-efficiency furnaces with 90% to 97% AFUE are the best choice. And you may be able to receive a utility rebate when you purchase a high-efficiency furnace.
  3. Burner type. There are three types of burners:
    1. Single-stage burners are either fully on or fully off. With these furnaces, temperature can vary drastically, making the home less comfortable. These furnaces are also less efficient, resulting in higher energy costs.
    2. Two-stage/dual-stage burners allow the furnace to run high or low. As a result, on milder days, you can run the furnace on low and keep the home comfortable without using as much energy.
    3. Modulating burners adjust from off to high. These burners allow your furnace to always operate at peak efficiency while keeping your home within 0.5 degrees of the thermostat setting. They are the most efficient burners.
  4. Blower type. Blowers are the component of the furnace that blow air through your home.  There are three types:
    1. Single-speed blowers are either on or off. 
    2. Multi-speed blowers have three speeds (high, medium, low) and are more efficient than single speed blowers.
    3. Variable-speed blowers make incremental adjustments as needed and are the most efficient.
  5. Zoning. Some parts of your home may get warmer quicker than others. If so, you should consider a heating system that offers zoning. Zoning divides your home into spaces that are controlled by separate thermostats. 
  6. Other features. Here are two other items you may consider when you purchase your furnace.
    1. Furnace humidifier, which will regulate the humidity in your home.
    2. Thermostat. This will ensure your thermostat is compliant with your furnace.  Consider a Wi-Fi programmable thermostat, which lets you preset the temperature based on time of day, day of week, etc. These thermostats can also be adjusted from your tablet or mobile phone.
  7. Warranty. Your furnace should come with a manufacturer’s warranty for parts for at least five years, and preferably 10. Additionally, your contractor may offer extended warranties for parts and labor.  
  8. Rebates. Check with your utility company to see what rebates are available.
  9. Contractor. You will be buying a quality furnace; make sure the contractor that will install it is reputable. Some things to consider:
    1. How long the company has been in business
    2. References from friends and relatives
    3. Ratings from third-party sources such as Angi or the Better Business Bureau
    4. Availability of extended warranties
    5. Availability of maintenance programs, including extended warranties and notifications for annual maintenance

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

The technicians at Ravinia Plumbing have years of experience installing electric furnaces and gas furnaces. Ravinia Plumbing’s HVAC pros can help you determine the right furnace for your home, and then install it. We are an Authorized Carrier dealer, and we are an eight-time winner of Carrier’s President’s Award, given to firms that display excellent customer service. If you do not need a new furnace, we also maintain and repair all major furnace brands.

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 us today to schedule an appointment.