Purchasing a new furnace can be a major investment in your future. Not only will the type and size of furnace you choose affect your comfort and warmth during chilly weather, it will determine your overall heating costs as well. To get the most out a new furnace, you should choose one that is suitable for the size of your home, burns fuel efficiently and is economic to run.
Determine the Furnace Size and Output
One of the most important decisions you will make is choosing the size and output of your furnace. Buying one that is either too large or too small to heat your living area will waste energy and leave you wishing you had made a better decision. Call your local HVAC contractors and ask them to come to your home and do a load calculation. Your contractor will use a formula to determine the proper size for you. To calculate this, they will need to know the square footage of your home, the amount and type of insulation your house has, and its exposure to the elements. They may also consider other variables, such as your climate.
Consider the Fuel Source
The fuel source for your furnace is another important consideration. The fuel source is a big factor in the operating cost of your furnace. Weighing the cost of fuel, the convenience of fuel deliveries and the effect it has on the environment may all factor into the fuel source you choose. There are three basic choices when it comes to fuel:
- Electricity: Electricity is the most expensive choice, but has the advantage of being a readily available, clean source of energy. It does not rely on fuel deliveries and you can’t run out of fuel unless the electrical supply is interrupted. A heat pump is a more economical choice if you choose an electric furnace.
- Fuel Oil: Traditional fuel oil can be costly to burn, but that depends on the local fuel prices in your area. The cost of fuel oil typically varies from region to region and fluctuates throughout the year. If you run out of fuel in the middle of the night or on weekends or holidays, you will likely face either waiting until business hours or paying a hefty fee for an emergency delivery. Fuel oil also contributes to pollution and requires regular chimney maintenance to keep your home safe.
- Gas: Natural gas is a clean-burning fuel source that is less expensive than either electric heat or fuel oil. In areas with city gas lines, this can be an excellent choice. There is no waiting for deliveries and the fuel source is always available.
Consider the current location of your furnace and the condition of your duct work. If your new furnace requires more space than your current furnace, you may need to alter the duct work to accommodate it. This will affect the cost and time required for your heating installation.
Set a budget for your new furnace, including the cost of installation and any alterations that must be made. Furnaces range in price. Look for one within your price range, but don’t make the mistake of trying to save money by passing up service contracts, as a few dollars invested now can save you a bundle in the future.
If you have concerns or questions about choosing a new furnace, the experts at Buckeye Heating & Cooling can help. Contact us today to talk to one of our professionals, and don’t forget to ask about our free estimates.