Has your furnace been acting up a lot, lately? If so, it might be time for you to get a replacement. Replacing your furnace could lower utility bills. Plus, a new furnace would make staying a home feel more comfortable. Still, there are several things you should consider before making any decisions. Otherwise, you’d risk wasting more money than necessary. Here’s how you can prepare for a furnace replacement.
Determine Your Heating Needs
Above all, you’ve got to figure out your heating needs. Picking the right furnace starts with determining what would work best for your home. We’d recommend measuring your home’s square footage first. When you’ve finished that, you can compare different furnace sizes.
Your old unit might not have been the best size for your place, so you shouldn’t just go with whatever was installed in your home before. The right-sized furnace will cost you a lot less in the long run, too.
Also, don’t forget about ceiling height. The higher your ceilings, the more air that has to be heated. For ceilings above 8 feet, add about 25% to your square footage estimates.
If you’re concerned about efficiency, look into the various efficient ratings. Among the most common, HSPF stands for Heating Season Performance Factor. There’s also SEER ratings or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. For both of these, larger numbers indicate higher efficiency.
As far as the size of your furnace, you’ll have to look at its BTUs. Generally, you’ll want about 25 BTUs for every square foot in the home. Let’s say you’ve got a 2,000-square-foot property. Then, you’d need a furnace with at least 50,000 BTUs. Otherwise, you might not feel like it’s keeping the home warm enough. Units with more BTUs will cost more, so you wouldn’t want to get anything too large, either.
Inspect Existing Ductwork
After you’ve picked a furnace, it’s time to prepare your home. Ductwork would be the most obvious place to start. Inspecting your ducts and ventilation should let you know if there are any problems.
Any leaks should be taken care of when you find them. Leaving them alone will only add to your long-term heating costs. While you’re repairing leaks, you could also insulate the ducts. The better they’re insulated, the more efficient your home will be.
Usually, ductwork absorbs some of the heat that your furnace produces. However, by applying a small layer of insulation, you’ll avoid most of that heat loss.
Consider Getting a Smart Thermostat
To further enhance your experience, get a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats don’t just let you adjust the temperature from your phone. They’re able to save you money, too.
By learning your schedule, they’ll turn off the furnace when it isn’t needed. So, if you’ve got a regular work schedule, your furnace will turn off when you leave. Then, it’ll turn on early enough to warm up the place before you arrive home. That way, you’ll save money during the day, and you won’t have to wait for your home to feel comfortable after getting home from work.
Ask About an In-Line Air Purifier
Have you ever struggled with your allergies? Often, allergens travel through your HVAC system. If you’d like to get rid of yours, install an in-line purification system.
These go inside of the furnace or ductwork. Then, they’ll purify all the air traveling through your ventilation. Most of the time, they’ll totally get rid of common allergens. From your perspective, it’ll just feel like it’s become much easier to breathe.
Air purification systems work better when you’ve installed them in line with the furnace. That way, they’ll purify all of the home’s air.
Request an In-Line Humidifier
Winter air tends to be much drier than air during the summer. Because of this, you might experience nose bleeds and dry skin. Installing a humidifier could change all of that, though.
In-line humidifiers work similarly to in-line purification systems. Instead of purifying the air, they’ll add moisture to it. When there’s more moisture in the air, you’ll feel a lot more comfortable. In-line humidifiers also treat all of the air in your home so that there won’t be any dry spots inside.
Research Your Furnace Options
By now, you should’ve found out how large your furnace needs to be. However, there are still a ton of different furnace types. Most homes use either an electric furnace or a gas model. Both create the same end results, but they’re built using different technologies.
Depending on the cost of gas and electricity, one of them will cost less to run. If gas costs less than electricity, then you’d do better with a gas model. If it’s the reverse, then go with something electric.
Then, it’s time to decide what kind of staging you’d like. When it comes to furnaces, stages refer to how their heat exchangers and blowers work. Single-stage systems simply turn them on or off. Dual-stage systems can use a high and a low mode.
Finally, some modern furnaces use something called a modulating staging system. These are like a continuously variable transmission in your car. Instead of going through discrete stages like high and low, they’ll function along a continuum.
Usually, single-stage systems cost the least. However, they’re subject to short cycling, which happens when your furnace turns on and off rapidly. Short cycling happens because the furnace has a hard time heating the home evenly.
Dual-stage systems don’t struggle with short cycling although they’ll still produce cold spots. Modulating systems create the most uniform heating experience inside of the home.
Clear Out the Area Around Your Furnace
Now, you should’ve decided which type of furnace you’d like. At this point, it’s time to call a professional to schedule its installation. After setting up the appointment, you’ll need to prepare your home for installation.
The furnace technicians will take care of removing your old unit, so don’t worry about that. However, you need to clear out a path to the furnace. Sweep around the old furnace and along a pathway to the door.
Also, take a few measurements of the old furnace. Then, walk down the path the technicians will take to the door. While you’re doing that, see if there’s anything that would block them. If there is, move it out of the way.
Technicians get paid by the hour. So, moving stuff out of the way will help them finish fast. Just making sure they’re able to get to the door could save you a ton.
To save even more, see if there are any rebates available for your new furnace. Often, manufacturers will give our rebates to people who buy from them. You’ve just got to claim them, and they’ll send you a check for the rebate’s amount.
Your Furnace Replacement Team
McGowan's Heating & Air Conditioning offers quality, timely service from Northeast Florida to Daytona. We’d love to help you install, maintain, or repair your furnace. Also, we can handle anything related to your air conditioning system. Contact McGowan's Heating & Air Conditioning today to schedule your service.