When it comes time to purchase a new water heater, you have a variety of…
If you conduct regular preventive maintenance and use your furnace well, it will last for about 15 to 20 years. Usually, after 15 years, you should start looking for a replacement to avoid breakdowns at the most unexpected times. Also, if you repair your furnace frequently or you’re remodeling your home, you should consider a replacement. Therefore, let us look at how you can prepare for a new furnace installation in your home.
1. Assess Your Home’s Heating Needs
Before you decide on the furnace you want to buy, you need to know how much heat your home requires. This is important because it will help you choose the right furnace in terms of BTUs. BTU is an acronym for British Thermal Units. It is the amount of energy needed to heat one pound of water by 10 degrees. If the furnace that you buy has a higher BTU rating, that means that it can provide more warmth for your home.
That said, don’t just go for a furnace with the highest BTU rating expecting more warmth for your house. That would cause you more problems and will have you repairing your unit more often than you should have to. This is because an oversized furnace will put too much heat into your rooms, making the thermostat shut down early while the space is still unevenly warmed up. Then, as the heat quickly transfers to the colder areas of the room, the thermostat will turn back on again.
This continuous shutting on and off will put too much strain on your system, making it break down before its time. The same applies to undersized furnaces. If the BTUs are too low for your home, it will take your unit a lot of time to heat up your house, causing it to stay on for a long time. Furnaces are designed to turn on and off in cycles as they heat up your home.
While assessing your home’s heating needs, it is best to work with a professional. Our experts at IT Landes can measure your indoor space to determine the exact capacity that you need. Remember, you will also need to take into account the ceiling height, the square footage of your rooms and the desired temperature change to determine the BTUs that you’ll need.
2. Your Climate and Weather
The climate and weather where you live will also greatly impact the type of furnace you’ll get. In determining your home’s heating needs, you must take into account the outside temperature or the overall temperature of your surroundings. For instance, if the overall temperature of your house without a heating system is 40 degrees Fahrenheit and you need to raise it to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, then that 30-degree difference must be put into the calculation when determining the BTUs you’ll need.
If you live in Montgomery, Bucks County or the surrounding area, the winter temperatures are usually very cold. Therefore, you may need to use your furnace almost all the time. When you’re looking for a new heating unit, get one with an AFUE rating of 90 or higher. The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratio (AFUE) is determined by dividing the amount of fuel supplied to the heater by the amount of heat produced. Think of it as the miles per gallon estimate for your car. If you buy a furnace with a higher AFUE rating, that means you will pay less for your energy bills, even if you run your furnace almost all the time during the cold season.
3. Check Your Ductwork System
You cannot risk installing a new furnace with a ductwork system that has problems. Your furnace will break down prematurely, or you will spend too much money on repairs. For this stage, call our experts for a thorough inspection before you bring in your new furnace.
However, there are things that you can evaluate on your own. For instance, you can see areas on your ducts that have deteriorated, like disconnected spans, points with streaks of dust coming from the seams of the ductwork or places that are corroded. Also, if your duct system is too old, sometimes it is just easier to replace it altogether instead of doing constant repairs on it.
A simple test that can help you determine the efficiency of your duct system is by checking for air pressure loss. You can do this by slightly opening your window or door by just one to two inches and then switching on your furnace. If a lot of air is rushing in from outside, then there may be a leak somewhere in your ducts. Find it and seal it before replacing your old furnace.
4. Determine the Type of Furnace You Need
Perhaps you would like to switch things up a bit. You may want a different type of furnace. Even if you want to stick to your old type of furnace, you should know the types that are available, their pros and cons and if they would suit your home and your specific needs.
Basically, there are three different types of furnaces: gas, oil and electric. Gas furnaces are the most common type in the country today. If you have this type, you may have noticed that they tend to be cheaper to run and are very stable. Consumer reports have shown that they can achieve an efficiency rating of about 98%. Gas furnaces also heat up faster, so they provide warm air quicker, which is good during the cold winter months. They are also safe and burn more cleanly compared to other fossil fuels.
One disadvantage of gas furnaces is that they produce small amounts of carbon dioxide and sometimes carbon monoxide, which can be very dangerous when inhaled in excess. Most owners also install carbon monoxide detectors with gas furnaces to alert them when there are leaks. Other disadvantages include higher installation costs, and they don’t last as long as electric furnaces.
Electric furnaces are very clean. You won’t have to worry about carbon compounds in your home if you choose one. They are less expensive to install compared to gas furnaces, and they also last longer, up to 25 or 30 years. In addition, they are also easier to maintain. The only problem with this type of furnace is the amount of money you’ll pay for your energy bills. They cost more to operate, and as they continue to age, this amount will increase. Like any other machine, furnaces age and cost more to maintain when they are near their expected lifespan. Some people also complain of dry air when using electric furnaces.
Oil furnaces are less expensive to install compared to gas furnaces, but they are quite expensive to run because oil is often imported. You will also need an oil tank installed close to your home and regular oil deliveries. People who live in very cold areas with temperatures that drop to single digits are better off with oil furnaces. This is because they get hotter than all the other furnaces and are known to heat large spaces faster and more evenly. They also last longer, up to 30 years.
If you need furnace or AC installation, maintenance or repair, turn to IT Landes for your home or business. We have been providing professional, dependable and affordable home comfort for residents of Montgomery and Bucks County since 1929. We even provide a complete range of plumbing services. You can trust our expert team to help you with anything you need, so call us today.