Next to roofing and foundation repairs, an HVAC system replacement is one of the biggest investments you can make in your home. So, it's no wonder that a furnace replacement seems like such a big deal. Once you've chosen your new furnace, it's yours for the next 15 to 20 years, so it pays to ask yourself a few important questions as you shop for a new furnace.
"What Type of Furnace Should I Buy?"
The typical furnace used in countless homes throughout the U.S. is the traditional split-system design, with the furnace and air conditioning unit sharing the same blower fan, air filter, and ductwork. Packaged systems are similar but with everything housed in one unit instead of being split between indoor and outdoor cabinets. There are also free-standing furnaces that use their own ductwork or lay open to the space they're heating.
You'll also have to choose between natural gas, propane, oil, and electric furnaces. In most cases, the choice will already be made for you, depending on your home's previous heating setup. If your home has natural gas hookups, for example, you'll likely stick with a natural gas-powered furnace. Oil and propane furnaces offer good alternatives for homes without access to natural gas. Electric furnaces offer better overall efficiency, but your local electricity rates can make heating expensive.
"How Large Should My Furnace Be?"
Ideally speaking, your new furnace should be the same size as your previous furnace. Your HVAC contractor will evaluate your home's heating needs based on its size to ensure that your furnace is a perfect fit for your home. Having an undersized or oversized furnace not only makes it harder to heat your home, but your furnace will also suffer constant breakdowns and even require an early replacement.
"How Efficient Must My Furnace Be?"
The more efficient your furnace, the more money you'll save and the less effort you'll need to keep your home warm. Current standards require modern furnaces to have a minimum Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of at least 80 percent. The latest in energy-efficient condensing furnaces offer AFUE ratings of 98.5 percent or more. Buying the most efficient furnace your budget can handle will benefit your home and your heating budget in countless ways.
"How Much Should I Spend on Installation?"
Prices for a typical furnace installation will vary based on a variety of factors, including your location, furnace type, and your home's age and layout. Nationwide, homeowners pay an average of $4,263 for a furnace installation, according to the most recent figures from HomeAdvisor. Labor costs typically range from $50 to $75 per hour for a basic installation, although permitting issues and additional manpower can cause this figure to increase.
Contact a local furnace replacement service for more information.