When shopping for a new furnace, it is important to get just the right one for your home’s particular needs. It will have a huge impact on your comfort this winter and will be the determining factor on how much you pay in heating costs. Use this buyer’s guide to help figure out which heating system is best for you.
- Before you start, take steps to make your home as energy-efficient as possible. For example, weatherstripping can be placed along the perimeter of doors and windows to block drafts. Proper insulation is also important. When your house is tightly sealed and well insulated, you may be able to use a smaller, more affordable furnace to provide maximum comfort.
- The next step is load calculation. Have a heating and air-conditioning contractor measure your home’s energy needs. An improperly sized unit can drive up energy costs for years to come, so this step is important.
- When looking at various furnaces, consider each unit’s AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency). This is a measurement of heating equipment efficiency. The system you select should be rated at least 90 percent AFUE; old models may be rated as low as 55 percent. An upgrade can lower your energy costs significantly.
- High efficiency is important in climates as cold as Long Island’s. Even an increase from 75 to 90 percent AFUE will make a noticeable improvement in your costs and your comfort.
- Retrofitting — using modern components on old systems — can help temporarily boost an old unit’s energy efficiency. But for long-lasting improvements, a total system upgrade is preferred.
For more information on choosing the right furnace, contact T.F. O’Brien Cooling and Heating today. We have served Long Island since 1934.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.Photo courtesy of www.shutterstock.com.