Making the decision to replace your furnace may seem overwhelming due to the amount of technical information to evaluate. However, there are really only a handful of major items to take into consideration. Don’t forget that your HVAC contractor is also a valuable resource to help you weigh your options.
Here are major points to consider for a furnace replacement:
Size. Do you know what size furnace you need? An over- or under-sized furnace will not only work inefficiently, it will experience more wear and tear and as a result be more prone to malfunctions. Have your HVAC contractor run specific load calculations, using Manual J, to determine the best-sized system for your home. He can also use Manual S to get precise recommendations about the make and model furnace that will work best for your needs.
Energy efficiency. You’ll want to look at the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings when looking for a furnace replacement. This tells you the percentage of fuel that is converted to heat. The higher the rating, the more efficient the furnace. High-efficiency furnaces, with advanced features to enhance efficiency, start at 90 percent AFUE and rise to near 100 percent. Your HVAC specialist with consult with you on what AFUE level will offer the best return on investment in our climate. Generally speaking, the colder the climate, the shorter the payback time from lower utility bills.
If your unit is purchased and installed prior to Dec. 31, 2013, you may be able to take advantage of federal energy efficiency tax credits if your furnace replacement meets minimum efficiency standards.
Extra features. There are a few extra features that will make a difference:
- Variable speed blowers with variable heat output: These produce a more consistent heat, are more energy efficient and operate more quietly. Make sure they’re compatible with your ductwork.
- Ignition/burner. Look for hot surface, direct-spark or intermittent ignition systems for energy efficiency, and sealed combustion for extra protection from CO fumes.
- Dual heat exchanger. The second heat exchanger draws more heat from the fuel, increasing efficiency.
Contact Roth Heating & Cooling for professional assistance with your furnace replacement. We provide superior HVAC installation to Portland area homeowners.