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4 Steps to Buying the Right Home Furnace for Your Needs

Fall is here, and the weather will only get colder. Whether you just moved into a new home or you are looking to replace your old heating system with a new one, you need to make sure your home is prepared for the upcoming winter. A home furnace is a significant investment, but a new heating system will pay for itself in improved efficiency, warmth, and greater comfort for you and your family during those wintry days and nights.

If you are wondering what to look for when buying a new furnace for your home, here is a quick guide to help you make an informed decision. For further information about what type of furnace will work best for your home and your family, reach out to your trusted HVAC professional.

1. Choose Between a Split or Packaged System

Home furnaces are available as packaged units or split units. A packaged heating system comes as a single metal box holding all the components needed to heat your home. Your HVAC contractor will install the unit outside the home or on the roof.

A split system, on the other hand, comes with multiple components instead of everything included in one unit. These components include a metal box that your HVAC contractor will install outside the home and a compartment they will install inside the house.

The outside metal box houses the condenser and compressor, while the compartment inside the home contains the furnace and evaporator.

If you wonder which option works for you, learn the advantages and disadvantages of both. A packaged system is faster to install and doesn’t take up much space, which means that it’s very convenient for some families. On the other hand, a packaged system typically has a short life expectancy, is likelier to rust due to outside installation, and has a lower seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). If you care more about how long your system lasts and how efficient it is, this option may not be best for you.

The pros of installing a split heating system include its higher SEER, longer life span, and less deterioration due to exposure from the elements. However, because of their various components, split systems may take slightly longer to install. These systems can also use up a lot of space, and if you have a small house, then this system might not work for you. Ask your HVAC contractor to learn more.

2. Choose the Source of Fuel

The source of fuel for your furnace will depend on the connections available in your home. Natural gas or electricity may be suitable for newer homes, with gas being the most inexpensive way to heat your home.

Electricity is cleaner than oil and may be a suitable option if your home does not have gas lines. However, electrical heating can add to your energy bill.

A propane furnace may be appropriate for older homes that do not have gas lines. However, you may need extra space to store the propane, and you will have to contend with fluctuating fuel prices.

3. Determine the Right Size

A properly sized furnace will ensure the system heats your home efficiently and evenly. If you buy too small of a furnace, your home won’t be warm enough and your system will work too hard. If you buy too large of a furnace, you won’t get your money’s worth out of it.

Your contractor will assess the needs of your home and perform a load calculation to determine the right size HVAC system for your home. Don’t try to do this on your own — your trained HVAC contractor is more likely to understand all the factors that go into choosing the right size furnace.

4. Ask About Energy Efficiency

Before buying a furnace, find out about the system’s Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). AFUE is the percentage of fuel a furnace uses; this is a measure of how efficiently your furnace converts fuel into heat.

Consider units with a higher AFUE percentage as these are more fuel-efficient. Electrical furnaces are comparably more energy efficient, and these units will typically have higher AFUE ratings of up to 100%.

However, bear in mind that just because a unit is energy-efficient doesn’t mean operating the unit will be cheap. Indeed, electrical furnaces are more efficient at transforming fuel into heat, but electricity can be a costly utility, especially when used to heat an entire home.

A lot goes into selecting a heating system that will serve you for many years. A step in the right direction is finding a reputable contractor who will consider your needs, guide you in selecting the right furnace system, and professionally install the system for optimal heating.

If you are looking for high-quality HVAC services in Meridian, ID, you can rely on the professionals at Advanced Heating & Cooling. Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our certified technicians.