When it appears that a furnace replacement makes more sense than continuing to repair your current system, these guidelines can help you select a new system based on your home’s characteristics, the features you want and energy efficiency. A furnace lasts for a long time, and doing your homework beforehand will increase your satisfaction over the long haul.
Of all the decisions you make, sizing the system has the biggest impact on its performance and your comfort. HVAC professionals use software called Manual J to calculate your home’s heating load, as a key step in sizing the furnace. Numerous factors are taken into account, and not just the size and layout of your home.
A system that’s too large will run in short cycles, which increases your energy bills, wears out parts and lowers your comfort. The system won’t run long enough to thoroughly warm all the places in your home. If there’s any doubt about the size of the furnace, expressed in Btus (British thermal units), it’s better to slightly undersize it, especially in a mild winter climate like ours.
Besides the Btu capacity of the furnace, you’ll encounter the AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) of the furnace. The minimum starts at 78 percent, and some systems go as high as 98 percent. A system with AFUE 78 percent wastes 22 percent of the fuel it uses, while one with an AFUE of 98 percent uses all but 2 percent of its fuel for heating. The higher the efficiency of a furnace, the more it will cost. It’s important to determine how early in the furnace’s service life that extra cost will be recouped in energy savings. In our mild winter climate, those savings will take longer to accrue than if you if you lived farther north, though eventually they will.
A furnace replacement can be one of the most complex decisions facing homeowners. For more information, contact the pros at Powers Heating & Air. We’ve provided quality HVAC services in the Peachtree City area since 2001.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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