A Furnace Replacement Guide For New Homeowners

Posted on: 16 June 2021

Buying your first home is an exciting experience, right up until the moment that you face your first significant repair. Many new homeowners face a particularly acute form of sticker shock when they realize how expensive some appliance replacements can be. While your furnace is a critical part of maintaining a comfortable environment, it's far from a cheap item.

Fortunately, replacing your furnace is something that you won't need to worry about too often. Even if you're moving into your forever home, you shouldn't expect to buy new ones more than a handful of times. Still, the high cost means that you'll want to get the best bang for your buck, and these three tips will help you make the best decision possible.

1. Understand Your Existing Furnace

The first step to installing a new furnace is understanding a bit about your old one. You'll need to know some basic facts about it, including its power source, capacity, and efficiency. Standard power sources in US homes include natural gas, electricity, and oil. In most cases, the cheapest replacement option is to stick with your current fuel type.

Capacity and efficiency are two additional pieces of information you'll want to know. Furnaces are rated for capacity in British Thermal Units per Hour (BTUH), while manufacturers rate efficiency using an AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) percentage. These two facts will help you to compare your new furnace to your old one.

2. Set Some Goals

Next, you'll want to decide on a few goals for your replacement. Were you happy with your existing furnace's performance before you chose to install a new one? If so, you'll probably want to select one with a similar capacity rating. If not, your installer can help you estimate your heating needs to choose an appropriate capacity to keep your home warm.

You'll also need to decide between standard and high-efficiency furnaces. High-efficiency units usually offer a 95% or better AFUE, while standard units might offer around 80%. You can compare these values to your old furnace's AFUE to get a rough understanding of your utility bill savings. The best option for your home will depend on your budget and local utility costs.

3. Consider Other Upgrades

If you've just moved into your home, you might not be intimately familiar with its HVAC system yet. In this case, your installer can help you evaluate other parts of the system, such as your thermostats and ductwork. Issues with these components can reduce the efficiency and performance of your new furnace, so it's a good idea to consider any repairs or upgrades that may be necessary.

Although replacing a major appliance can put a damper on the excitement of moving into a new home, replacing your furnace is an excellent opportunity to make your house more comfortable all year round. By following these tips, you'll be able to select a furnace to keep your family warm while saving some money on your future utility bills.

Contact a local HVAC technician to learn more about furnace replacements.


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