Another Mid-Ohio winter is on the doorstep, and if you're thinking this is the year for a furnace replacement, now's a good time to consider your options. A little research now can put you in position to make a purchase you'll feel good about.
A furnace is an investment that you can expect to last around 20 years, depending on the type and how well you maintain it, so all the more reason to be an educated consumer when selecting your furnace replacement.
If your furnace is fairly old, one immediate benefit you'll see from your furnace replacement is increased efficiency - maybe enough to cut your fuel bills in half. So here are some points to consider as you compare potential furnace replacements:
- Size: What size is right for you? Larger doesn't mean warmer. You'll get the most comfort (and efficiency) in your furnace replacement with the correct size. If your furnace kicks on and off continuously, it's probably too big.
- Efficiency Rating: All furnaces are required to display a AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating, which measures the amount of fuel that a gas or oil furnace consumes compared to the amount of heat that it produces. A high-efficiency unit with a 97 percent AFUE rating means that only 3 percent of the heat that it generates is lost up the chimney or flue. Older furnaces typically have fuel efficiencies no greater than 70 percent, and often as low as 57 percent. You'll definitely notice that difference on your fuel bill each month.
- Energy Star-rated furnaces have a minimum efficiency of 85 to 90 percent, and very efficient blower motors. A furnace that has earned the Energy Star rating has met the strictest guidelines for efficiency.
- Retrofitting: This may make sense, particularly if your unit is not so old that replacing it is an easy decision. For example, adding vent dampers, intermittent ignition devices and derating gas burners for gas-fired units, and modulating aquastats and time-delay relays (for boilers) are retrofits that can help you save on fuel bills. But you should weigh the costs of retrofits - and the savings that you can expect - very carefully.
For more information, the qualified professionals at Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating, Inc. are always available to answer your questions, and help you choose the right unit for your home and your budget. We have proudly served residential customers in the Mid-Ohio area for more than 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace replacement and other HVAC topics, visit our website.
Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating, Inc. services the Mid-Ohio area.