A properly installed furnace is an investment, ensuring the safety of property and its occupants.
If we’re lucky, the home we bought came with a good furnace that will last a long time, especially if we have it regularly maintained. Unfortunately, that also means many of us will never appreciate what our Columbus furnaces do. When it’s time to buy a new one (and if you live there long enough, the day will come), we will have no idea what to do.
While it can certainly help to have a conversation or two with a local contractor or the expert at the home appliance store, it never hurts to have an idea or two about the process. When professionals realize you have a kernel of knowledge, they are less likely to water down information or, worse, mislead you altogether in order to make a sale.
So, for your consideration, here are a few things to keep in mind while looking for a furnace.
To start, while there are many factors involved, they all pretty much center around the following:
You have to make sure the furnace is correctly sized.
Oversized furnaces are going to cost more to operate. An oversized unit will have a large capacity, requiring frequent cycles. The constant on and off of cycling will burn more energy. Get a pro to perform a load calculation. This looks at house size, window insulation value, insulation in roof and walls, and other elements. There are sites to help you determine your proper furnace size.
You need to buy a product that is appropriately efficient.
Furnace ratings are based on the amount of heat a furnace emits. This is gauged by the AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). The AFUE is a percentage, representing how much of fuel supplied to the furnace will go directly to heating the house. Devices with high AFUE will cost more upfront, but they will cost less to operate. That means savings in the long term as opposed to buying a cheaper unit with a lower AFUE. Consumer reports offers a proper buying guide.
You want to ensure you are getting the best furnace for your budget.
Whatever your budget, if it’s feasible, shop in the spring or fall. You are more likely to get a better deal than in the high demand periods, especially the winter. Look for competitive pricing from local installers, but always keep in mind a good contractor is better than a cheap one.
There are plenty of other considerations for any heating and air Columbus system, including location, sealed combustion, thermostats and program-ability. It will be a challenging process, but a worthwhile process because the right decision will enhance the way you enjoy your home.