Your furnace is the work horse of your entire home comfort system. Whether it's your air conditioner, humidifier, or air filtration system, virtually every single other comfort system in your home relies on your furnace's blower to circulate conditioned air around your home.
So, it's really important to get the best furnace you can afford.
Things to consider when buying a furnace
- What is the AFUE rating? AFUE refers to Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. It's how furnaces are rated for efficiency. The higher the number, the less energy (and money) you will be wasting.
- Does it have a variable-speed blower motor? Furnaces with variable-speed blower motors can gently "stir" the air around your house all the time on low speed. This keeps the temperature in your home more consistent, keeps the air in your home cleaner (because it's always moving through your filtration system), and can save quite a bit on energy bills (because your system doesn't need to heat or cool at full throttle as often).
- Does it have more than one "stage" of heating? Furnaces with multi-stage gas valves have multiple levels of heating capacity. It's like adjusting the amount of heat your stove top puts out while you're cooking. Most of the time, your home doesn't require "High" heat, so you can save energy and money with a multi-stage furnace. Some furnaces only have one stage, some have two (Low and High). The very best furnaces have modulating gas valves, which allows them to deliver the precise amount of heat necessary for almost any situation.
- Have you considered a Heat Pump? For those of us that live in fairly moderate climates, a heat pump can save even more on energy bills. A heat pump is essentially an air conditioner that can also run in reverse, providing heat for your home on all but the coldest days of the year. Because they only use electricity, this can save energy and money over always using a gas-fired furnace to heat your home.
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