When it comes time to upgrade your furnace, you want to make the right decision. After all, a furnace is a long-term investment that not only affects your immediate financial future, but your long-term comfort and energy savings as well. With that in mind, we at Comfort Services have put together this handy buyer’s guide, designed to make the selection process that much easier.
It all starts with energy efficiency. No matter how efficient the upgrade you choose, if your home is full of air leaks and leaky ductwork, your comfort and energy costs are going to suffer. In addition, these efficiency issues directly affect the necessary size of your system. Therefore, it's always best to minimize your heating load by improving household efficiency before sizing a new system.
Proper sizing and installation is imperative. While bigger systems may come with a higher price tag, they don’t always ensure higher efficiency. Your system needs to be sized with the unique heating demands of your household in mind. Your technician should size your system according to the specifics of the ACCA’s Manual J, an industry-recognized method of sizing. The complex calculations of this method will rely heavily on the unique characteristics of your household, including the:
- Micro-climate of your Columbia area home
- Size of your household
- Number of windows in your home and their level of efficiency
- Energy efficiency of your home
- Size of your family, their routine and their temperature preferences
Be sure to compare the efficiency of potential upgrades. Using the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating, you can compare the level of efficiency and energy savings a furnace will provide your household over time. AFUE tells you how much of the energy a furnace consumes will be converted into useful heat for your household. Thus, if your current system has an 80 percent AFUE, that means it’s wasting 20 percent of the energy it consumes. Upgrading to a system with a 97 AFUE would cut that waste to 3 percent, a significant energy savings.
Need help? Let our trained technicians assess your furnace needs. Contact Comfort Services today!