Time to take that leap!
Your furnace is in its mid-teens teens now, and like all moody teenagers, it is giving you grief. You have had enough and it is time to get an upgrade. Or maybe you just got a new home and need to install a furnace. Either way, you are asking yourself, ‘Where do I start?’
How about right here? Here is a simple little guide to getting a new furnace up and running, just in time for winter.
Table of contents
- 1. Get a survey done
- 2. Choose an energy source
- 3. Choose an energy-efficient furnace
- It only happens once in a long time
1. Get a survey done
There are important factors that will decide the type and size of the furnace to be installed and an HVAC professional is the right person to point them out.
- Space is one of those factors. The size of the furnace will depend on available space in the attic, crawlspace or basement. If the house lacks indoor space, then the best heating solution is a packaged HVAC system which is usually installed outside.
- A manual J load calculation should be done to determine just how much work the furnace will have to do. The load will determine the output size of the furnace.
- The person doing the survey will check for gas lines that run near the home. If the area lacks gas lines, then a gas-powered furnace is not an option.
- The HVAC professional will also check the house for faults that may affect the furnace’s performance. They will check for openings or gaps heated air out might escape from and ensure the home is properly insulated. If such faults are found, repairs to the house should be done in preparation for furnace installation.
2. Choose an energy source
A furnace can be fueled by natural gas, diesel or electricity. Each of these fuels has its pros and cons.
- Gas furnaces are very economical in freezing weather. But they cannot be used in an area that lacks gas lines.
- Propane or oil furnaces are an option in places that have no gas lines. They are powerful, but they are the least eco-friendly option. Also, when oil prices skyrocket, running an oil furnace can quickly become very expensive.
- Electric furnaces produce no emissions but they use massive amounts of power to heat a house to the same level a gas or oil furnace would. An electric furnace is the most expensive type of furnace to run.
- An electric heat pump is the cheapest and most clever alternative. It does not need a fuel source to heat the air that warms the home.
3. Choose an energy-efficient furnace
The efficiency of a furnace is measured in AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency), and a good furnace should have at least 80 percent efficiency.
Not only will an energy-efficient furnace save costs, it may also attract rebates. Some states offer rebates as high as $1,500.
4. Implement zoning systems in the home to improve performance
Divide the home into several zones, each controlled by its own thermostat. Have dampers installed in the heating system to shut off heating to zones where heat is not needed. Zoning systems enable even heating of the house while reducing heating costs.
5. Do not depend on only one estimate
A contractor may charge too much to install a furnace. Or they may charge too little and do a terrible job. Get multiple estimates to get a sense of the true cost of Furnace Installation.
6. Do not trust a contractor that gives a quote over the phone
It is not possible to quantify the work to be done without a survey. Anyone who gives a quote without visiting the home should be avoided.
7. Do not compromise on the quality
A furnace is a long-term investment that will define many winters to come. Get a reputable HVAC company to do the installation and get a good maintenance contract from the furnace manufacturer and the contractor.
It only happens once in a long time
It may not seem like it, but a furnace takes a short time to install. The hardest part of the whole process is making the right choices. But you will do just fine. All you need to do is find the right HVAC company.