Looking for a furnace replacement could be one of the more demanding processes you go through as a homeowner, and it’s also an important one. Long Island winters are long and cold, and heating your home takes a substantial piece out of your budget.
The most important things to consider are the furnace’s energy efficiency, features that improve comfort and save energy, and sizing the unit accurately.
The minimum efficiency available for combustion heating systems is an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of 78 percent. This indicates that the system only uses 78 percent of the fuel it consumes to create heat for your home. The rest of it goes up the chimney. Systems are available that have AFUE ratings as high as 98 percent. A system with a better AFUE will cost more initially, but you’ll recover its cost each time the furnace runs.
- Choosing a furnace replacement with an electronically commutated motor (ECM) inside improves energy efficiency and comfort. These motors use significantly less electricity, and run more slowly and quietly. They mix the air more consistently, so your home feels more evenly warmed.
- A variable-heat output furnace adjusts the amount of fuel it sends to the burner, so when your home needs less heating, you don’t burn as much fuel.
- A condensing furnace squeezes nearly all the heat the furnace creates by way of dual heat exchangers. The first one harvests the heat from the primary heat exchanger, and the second takes it from the water vapor gas furnaces create. These systems can have efficiencies that reach 95 percent or higher.
An experienced HVAC contractor should perform a load calculation using Manual J software to arrive at the optimum furnace size for your home’s specific needs. Anything too large will run in short cycles, increasing wear and energy bills. If it’s too small, it won’t heat your home during the coldest weather.
While this guide lays out the basics for a furnace replacement, the experts at T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating can help you with more detailed information. We’ve provided trusted HVAC services for Long Island homeowners since 1934.
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