When considering a furnace replacement, some homeowners will simply switch out their old unit for a similarly sized newer model. It may seem like a good strategy, but many of today’s informed homeowners take a more proactive approach.They do their homework before making a decision. Invite more than one HVAC company to quote a price, and accurately calculate the most appropriate size for the furnace in your home, then discuss your options.
With energy costs rising over the long term, efficiency and expense should be crucial factors in your buying decision. Most older furnaces have an efficiency rating in the 60-70 percent (AFUE) range. Current models, are at least 80 percent AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency), with top-of-the-line high-efficiency furnaces coming in at 98 percent AFUE. That means that 98 percent of the fuel used is converted to heating for your home and not wasted up the flue.
With choices ranging from the minimum AFUE 80 percent to the highest 98 rated high-efficiency units, all furnaces are considerably more efficient than the older units being replaced. The question is how is much is that added efficiency worth – and can you recover that extra cost in a reasonable length of time? This is where an HVAC contractor comes into play. When the contractor arrives at your home for an estimate, ask him to calculate annual usage costs for various efficiency levels for the various models he carries. It may well be that paying the extra dollars for a high-efficiency unit is not warranted in our warmer Georgia climate. Your best value might be found at, or slightly above, the basic 80 percent efficiency level.
The furnace replacement choice is left to the homeowners, who must make the decision based on their budget and potential energy savings. This is where accurate sizing is important. A furnace too small for the space will run constantly to meet the temperature demands of the thermostat, while a furnace too large will also perform inefficiently by repeatedly recycling and running up the electric bill. You may also be able to take steps to improve your home’s energy efficiency – sealing air leaks and upgrading insulation – that will allow you to get by with a smaller furnace.
Please contact us at Powers Heating and Air, an established HVAC company serving the Peachtree City area since 2001, to talk about your planned furnace replacement.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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