What to Consider if You're Replacing Your Home's Furnace

November 17, 2015

What to Consider if You're Replacing Your Home's Furnac A new furnace is a big investment that stands to bring you reliable comfort throughout many cold Des Moines winters and help you save on your energy bills. To get the greatest benefits, there are a few things you'll want to consider before you buy.

The Basics

It's usually most economical to replace your furnace with one that uses the same energy source as your previous model. Sometimes, though, it's worth switching. If you've been using an electric or oil furnace, switching to natural gas heating is likely to reward you with lower heating bills. A local gas company can tell you if it's possible to supply gas to your home.

Next, consider the energy efficiency you'd like to see from your furnace. A fuel-burning furnace's efficiency is indicated by its Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. In a cold winter climate like ours, it's often worth investing in a high-efficiency furnace with an AFUE of 90 percent or higher. Price does increase with efficiency, though, and the purchase cost of systems with the highest AFUE ratings isn't always offset by lower monthly bills. A professional can help you find your ideal efficiency.

Features for Efficiency and Performance

Advanced technology used in higher-efficiency furnaces helps them draw more heat from less fuel while improving your overall comfort. A variable-speed motor can run at any speed within a certain range, allowing it to choose the most efficient speed for your current heating needs. Most of the time, it will run at lower speeds. This means greater energy efficiency, more consistent temperatures and less noise from the motor. Two-stage and modulating gas valves offer similar benefits.

Correct sizing is also an important consideration. An undersized system won't keep your house warm on the coldest days, but an oversized system wastes energy and creates hot and cold spots around the house. A professional will follow Air Conditioning Contractors of America's Manual J to accurately size your system.

For professional guidance on choosing your new heating system, contact us at Lozier Heating & Cooling in the Des Moines area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: "tommaso lizzul/Shutterstock"