Buying a Furnace This Year? Do Your Homework NowIf it’s time to buy a new furnace, do some research to understand how furnaces are rated and what options are available. New furnaces emit less pollution while providing more consistent comfort, and their more efficient use of energy than older models translates into lower fuel bills. They’re also less likely to require repairs than older models, and this increase in reliability can be invaluable during the cold winter months. Getting the right furnace for your needs can save you money in the long term.

When buying a new furnace, you’ll want to get the most out of your purchase. Pay attention to the furnace’s AFUE rating, measured as a percentage. AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, and it shows how much fuel the furnace will convert into fuel for your home. The lowest AFUE allowed by law is 78 percent, but today’s new models can achieve a rating as high as 98 percent. In other words, you’ll get much more bang for your buck.

Many premium models have features that improve efficiency and output. A furnace with a variable speed blower motor will provide a more consistent temperature while using less energy. A sophisticated air filtration system can help those who live with allergies or asthma. To increase efficiency, more and more furnaces use intermittent, direct spark, or hot-surface ignition systems in place of a continuously burning pilot light. A dual heat exchanger maximizes the amount of heat the furnace can draw from the air it burns. To protect your investment, premium furnaces generally carry a longer warranty than their low-efficiency counterparts.

When buying a furnace, you’ll want to get the right size for your home. While a furnace that’s too small won’t keep your house comfortable during cold weather, if it’s too large it will cycle on and off frequently, wasting energy and providing inconsistent temperature. A contractor can help you calculate the size needed for your home. Proper installation and regular preventative maintenance are the best ways to keep your furnace running smoothly.

For assistance selecting and installing a new furnace in your home, please contact us at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal. We have been providing expert service to communities in northwest Arkansas since 1968.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Northwest Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about buying a new furnace and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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