Don't wait until the dead of winter when your furnace stops working or the heating costs are sky-high to start thinking about a new heating system for your home. Now is the time to begin your search, as you'll have a better chance of finding the best furnace for the comfort of your family and you won't be under pressure to make a quick decision.
Three things to consider are comfort, energy efficiency and cost.
Although electric and oil furnaces are still available, forced air furnaces that utilize propane or natural gas, are generally the most efficient and economical heating systems. A forced air furnace's energy efficiency is measured according to how efficiently each unit produces heat.
This measurement is known as the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE. AFUE is determined by comparing the amount of fuel consumed to the amount of heat created. For example, an AFUE of 80% means that 80 cents of each dollar is being converted into effective heat, while 20 cents is essentially wasted.
The amount of heat that is required to properly and efficiently heat your home to a comfortable level is measured by the term “BTU’s”. BTU’s, or British Thermal Units, can be defined as the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one (1) degree Fahrenheit. Though proper sizing and selection of a furnace for your home is based on many factors, the AFUE and BTU considerations are among the most important. In addition, furnace selection is affected by the five different types available:
Single Stage Furnaces have one fan speed, and are available with an AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) of both 80% and 95%. These furnaces operate at 100% BTU Capacity at all times. These are the most common furnaces, but generally the least efficient and loudest on terms of operation.
Two-Stage Furnaces have 2 fan speeds, and are available with an AFUE of both 80% and 92% (or greater) These furnaces operate at 60% BTU Capacity, and progress to 100% as necessary. Two-Stage Furnaces provide a more uniform heat distribution, and are generally a bit quieter than Single Stage Furnaces.
Two-Stage Variable Speed Furnace
Two-Stage Variable Speed Furnaces are available with an AFUE of both 80% and 95% (or greater) These furnaces operate at 60% BTU Capacity, and progress to 100% as necessary via a variable speed motor. Two-Stage Variable Speed Furnaces are much quieter than Single Stage or Two Stage Furnaces. When additional equipment is added to a furnace, 2 Stage Variable Speed Furnaces are the recommended choices for 2 and 3 story homes, and furnaces that also include Air Purification Systems or Heat Pumps.
Three-Stage Variable Speed Furnace
Three Stage Variable Speed Furnaces are available with an AFUE of both 80% and 95% (or greater) These furnaces operate at 60% BTU Capacity, and progress to 100% as necessary via a variable speed motor. Three-Stage Variable Speed Furnaces are much quieter than Single Stage or Two Stage Furnaces. When additional equipment is added to a furnace, Three-Stage Variable Speed Furnaces are the recommended choices for maximum efficiency in 2 and 3 story homes, and furnaces that also include Air Purification Systems or Heat Pumps.
Modulating Variable Speed Furnace
Modulating Variable Speed Furnaces are the very best furnace available in terms of operating efficiency, even distribution of heat, quiet operation, and comfort level. This type of furnace is also the preferred choice when additional equipment of any type is added to the furnace heating system. The range of AFUE levels varies from 80% to 98%
Besides AFUE standards, one very important thing to consider when purchasing a furnace is your family’s safety. Many problems can arise from faulty furnace parts and deterioration over time, so finding the highest quality furnace to begin with can save you time, money, and the headaches of worrying about it breaking down or malfunctioning at an inopportune time.
Your first step is to have a reputable company come in to tune up your furnace, assess its condition, and determine its efficiency. Look at some your old fuel bills from last winter to be able to calculate how much you can save with a new unit.
Buying a new, energy efficient furnace may not even be the most important part. The furnace installation is critical. It has to be sized properly for your home and installed correctly by a capable, experienced company such as Ohio Heating. (All our techs are NATE certified and factory trained.) Otherwise you won't see the fuel savings you expect.
When replacing your furnace, don't forget about the the other important factors in your system. If the air ducts are leaky, your insulation is minimal, and the weatherstripping around doors and windows is letting all that warm air leak out, your nice new furnace won't deliver the energy savings you had hoped for.
When it comes to conditioning your home, Ohio Heating & Air Conditioning has the knowledge and resources to deliver comfort and safety in a home heating system. From small homes to large ones, we have become a trusted name in Columbus and Central Ohio. We also sell and service humidifiers, air cleaners, heat pumps, and temperature controls.
We are a factory authorized Bryant dealer. With Bryant as our marque line of equipment, we are able to offer competitive prices on custom systems. Whether a basic system or a high end, energy efficient system with zone control, we have an intelligent indoor climate solution for you.
Ohio Heating & Air Conditioning can provide complete services for you and your family. Whether for repair, maintenance, installation or replacement, we have the experience to meet all of your heating and cooling needs.
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