Replacing a furnace isn’t a lot of fun. And it’s usually only something you do when there’s absolutely no life left in the old one. But if you’re buying a new home that’s in need of an upgrade, you’re probably looking for the best unit you can buy. These days, there are so many brands and models to choose from that the decision can be overwhelming. If at all possible, start researching furnaces well before it’s time to buy one. But if replacing the unit is urgent, at least take the time to read this guide and make the most educated decision possible.
Types of furnaces
Furnaces come in electric, gas, or oil. Most of the time, natural gas is the most economical type of furnace. But that does depend on your area and whether or not your house already has gas lines running to it. In other words, it is probably cheapest to use whatever type of heater is already installed rather than to run new lines or rewire your home.
One of the most important factors in a heating unit for most homeowners is efficiency. If this is a big factor for you, you’ll need to know how to check for the most efficient model you can afford. The main way to find out is by checking the furnace’s AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating. This is a measure of how efficiently the furnace converts fuel to heat. The minimum AFUE requirement for furnaces made today is 80 percent, but there are units that go as high as 98.5 percent. Obviously, the higher the AFUE, the more efficient the furnace.
Another primary factor in choosing a heating unit is the size of the space you’ll be heating. This is simply the square footage of your home, but you can subtract any areas you won’t be heating, such as the garage or add-on porch. It’s important for your unit not to be too large because that will raise your utility expenses. But if the unit is too small, you may have trouble heating the whole house. It will also put unnecessary wear and tear on your unit.
Furnaces are sized using British Thermal Width, better known as BTUs. And, in general, it takes about 30 BTUs to heat 1,000 square feet. And while this is an easy calculation for you to make, there are a few other factors that may change that calculation. For example, an older home with poor insulation or poorly-sealed windows may need a heater with higher BTUs than the space would otherwise dictate. These are decisions that a experts such as those at Affordable Air can help you make. Professionals can help you choose the right size unit for your home and install it to run efficiently.
Types of thermostats
There are several types of thermostats you can choose for your new heating unit. But keep in mind that you have to make sure the one you choose is compatible with your model. For baseboard and wall heaters, you will usually need to choose a line-voltage thermostat. These are not the most technologically advanced and can usually fluctuate a little in their readings.
Another type of thermostat is the low-voltage thermostat. These can be digital or manual, and are the most versatile type because they work with most heating units. These are also the most common types of thermostats chosen.
It’s important that you never try to install or repair a furnace on your own. There are many aspects to any unit that can go wrong if you’re not highly-trained. A professional can help you choose the right type, size, and model for your home, and they can help you with repairs should you need them in the future.