Don’t let poor furnace performance leave you cold. If your home comfort has been suffering from uneven heating, and if your utility bills are higher than normal, it may be time for a furnace upgrade.
Factoring furnace options
The criteria central to helping you choose your furnace upgrade promptly are fuel source, AFUE rating, size and advanced features.
- Fuel source: You can quickly narrow your search by choosing the fuel source for your furnace. If you simply want the least expensive source, in the Fresno area, natural gas is less expensive than electricity.
- AFUE: The AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating is the second step. The AFUE percentage reflects how much of the energy that goes into the furnace comes out as heat for the home. Modern high-efficiency furnaces have AFUE ratings of 90-98 percent. These typically pay for themselves, offering great long-term savings over mid-efficiency and older furnaces, the latter of which generally had ratings in the 60-percent range. The federal Energy Star label will help you identify high-efficiency furnaces.
- Furnace size: It’s not a good idea to simply purchase a furnace the same size as the one you are replacing. An over-sized furnace wastes energy and performs poorly delivering uneven temperatures. An under-sized furnace won’t do the job and will be overworked, wearing out quicker than if it was operating in a manageable space. Contact a heating and cooling technician to assess your home. In addition to calculating the square footage, the technician will factor your home’s design, number of windows, exposure to the sun, insulation and sealing, and the air exchange rate.
- Advanced features: Furnaces equipped with advanced features last longer and save energy. Variable-speed blower motors provide more comfortable and even heat distribution and quieter operation, and more efficient filtration and humidity control. You may also consider zoned heating, which allows you to maintain different temperatures throughout your home. If you’re choosing a gas-fueled furnace, make sure to get one with direct spark ignition.
Purchasing a furnace is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a homeowner for long-term savings and comfort. If you’re experiencing poor furnace performance, contact Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning today. We’ve built our strong reputation by providing expert advice and service to residents in the Fresno area since 1970.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about poor furnace performance and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.