A furnace lasts 15 to 20 years. In the intervening years between original installation in your Arkansas home and replacement, technology has leapfrogged. As you look at replacing the furnace in your Springdale-area home, consider several key factors.
Twenty years ago no one had heard of biomass, biodiesel, wood pellets and other alternative fuels. When replacing the furnace, do not ignore economical alternatives to natural gas, propane or fuel oil. Fossil fuels are commodities with fluctuating prices. Look for domestic, alternative sources that will save you money, are easily accessible for your area, and will be better for the environment than natural gas or foreign oil.
Holding on to a 20-year-old furnace simply because it limps along is not money-wise. Modern condensing gas furnaces, for example, can achieve 98 percent Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE), where older models often do not rise above 65 percent AFUE. The payback (the time needed to recover your costs of replacing the furnace) is measured by the difference in efficiency; going from 65 percent to 95 percent will save you nearly a third of the money you spend on heating costs, every year for more than a decade.
Older furnaces are less efficient than modern ones, so to compensate, they were usually over-sized. Replacing the furnace with an identically sized unit will waste money at installation and for the life of the furnace. It can also cause strain on ductwork. Your reliable, professional HVAC contractor should use the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Manual J to determine the proper size of your new system.
If you are unsure about replacing the furnace, ask yourself a few key questions:
- Have my energy bills climbed steadily over the past few years, indicating decreased efficiency?
- Does my furnace make strange clicks, pops or bangs?
- Is the ductwork noisy?
- Is the HVAC repair person on speed-dial?
- Is my current furnace so old it still uses a pilot light instead of electronic ignition?
For help selecting a correctly sized, efficient modern furnace for your Arkansas home, contact us at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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