Moving into a new home is an exciting adventure, one that is filled with many decisions. One of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the right furnace for your comfort and safety. There are several factors to consider when making this major purchase. Which furnace will provide the greatest efficiency? Is zoning the right option? How does the furnace affect your indoor air quality? What rebates are available? Here is what you need to know when choosing a new furnace for your Denver Metro home.
Size of the furnace
The size of the furnace is an important consideration, but only in terms of getting the appropriate size for your home. A furnace that is too big will be inefficient and cost more up front as well as over the life of the system. When a furnace is oversized for the space, it cycles on and off more frequently, wasting energy and causing excessive wear and tear. A furnace that is too small will also need to work harder without effectively warming your home.
Before choosing a furnace, be sure your HVAC professional runs a load calculation to determine the optimal furnace size for your home. This will maximize efficiency (which translates into energy savings), reduce wear and tear (avoiding costly repairs and increasing the life of your furnace), and most importantly, will ensure your comfort and safety.
The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating tells you how energy efficient a furnace is. The AFUE is shown as a percentage – a higher percentage indicates greater efficiency. The highest rated furnaces are typically more expensive initially, but that initial higher investment can be offset with lower monthly energy bills. How quickly that happens can vary, but if you plan to stay in your home for a long time, choosing the most efficient furnace you can afford is a wise investment.
All furnaces are manufactured by a relatively small number of companies, and their products offer similar features. Choose a brand with models that have both high AFUE ratings and high customer satisfaction ratings. (Rheem is a trusted brand that we highly recommend.)
HVAC systems controlled by a single thermostat are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Zoning is an excellent way to maximize comfort and minimize wasted energy. Zoning divides your home into 2 or 3 areas with similar heating needs, each controlled by its own thermostat so your home stays warm where and when you need it without wasting energy. By opening and closing the air ducts as needed, zoning allows you to adjust the temperature for each area (such as upstairs and downstairs, or bedrooms and living areas) so that these spaces are comfortable when you are in them, but are not being heated when they aren’t being used. This saves money and keeps your home more comfortable.
Indoor air quality options
Know how and when to change the furnace filter (typically every 30-60 days) to keep dust and debris out of your indoor air and out of your heating system. Ask about the types of filters that work best with your furnace. Air cleaners incorporated into your HVAC system are another option for improving indoor air quality.
Variable speed blowers
Many new furnaces offer the ability to vary the speed at which air is distributed throughout your home. Rather than having the furnace either on or off, variable speed blowers allow you to adjust the speed to fit your comfort level. The result is more consistent temperature and quieter operation.
As mentioned above, choosing the highest efficiency furnace you can afford makes good sense over the life of the furnace. To help with that initial higher cost, many highly rated furnaces come with rebates and other incentives to make purchasing more affordable.
When evaluating the warranties of different brands, be sure you are comparing similar units. Ask if the warranty includes labor, and if not, ask your HVAC professional about a separate warranty for repairs and maintenance.
While all the items in this list are important, the most critical factor in choosing a furnace is the licensed and insured HVAC expert you hire to install it. A reputable HVAC professional will ensure that you are choosing the right size and type of furnace for your home, and that it is installed correctly the first time. This is the best way to maximize the performance of your furnace over its lifetime.
The professionals at IAQ are ready to help you purchase and install your new furnace. Contact us today!