What to Consider When Buying a Furnace
The snow is on the ground and furnaces all around Minnesota are humming at full speed. For the next three to
four months, our furnaces will be something we depend upon daily for our comfort. If you’re still considering a new furnace or HVAC system, it’s not too late. It might be a bit busy here for a while, considering technicians are always busy with repairs at the beginning of the heating season, but you can replace your furnace at any time during the year, even on the coldest winter days.
When choosing a furnace, there are two big things to consider: efficiency and comfort.
Gas Efficiency: Furnaces are given a rating with something called Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE), which essentially means an annual average of efficiency (similar to miles per gallon with cars and mileage). High efficiency units range from 90-97% AFUE and therefore are your best choice. New homes in Minnesota are actually required to only have high efficiency models installed. Less efficient models are in the 80-83% range and just won’t give you the energy savings and efficiency you should want for your home.
Motor Efficiency: There are choices too, for efficient motors. The standard motor used today is still the 4-speed permanent-split capacitor (PSC) motor fan. The next step up is an electronically commutated motor (ECM), which saves as much as 75-percent on the electrical consumption of a standard PSC motor. There are two ECM choices: the Basic ECM or the Premium ECM, which is considered the best choice, because it has a smart board for additional comfort control features. When looking for a new furnace, you’ll need to ask your HVAC dealer about each product’s motor and gas efficiency.
Other things to consider are the comfort features available on a furnace, like noise and temperature control. For some, the noise level, or lack thereof, is very important. Generally speaking, the higher the quality of furnace, the quieter the system will be (in other words, you get what you pay for). For others, the ability to precisely control airflow, temperature, and humidity levels is key. There are furnaces that provide high levels of both – and if you do your research, you’ll find the right furnace to fit your needs.
Finally, when considering your purchase, check into heating system rebates from local utility companies that might be available, as well as special offers that might be offered from local dealers. Many times the purchase of a high-efficiency furnace comes with added bonuses in the form of increased rebates or low-interest home energy loans, in addition to the long-term savings on energy bills.
Get yourself a high efficiency furnace from a reputable, local Carrier dealer and “Stay Comfy” this winter season!
For more energy saving and home comfort tips, visit StayComfyMinnesota.com! Stay Comfy, Minnesota is your Minnesota resource for air conditioning repair, furnace repair and HVAC tips and advice.