Winter isn’t the best time to think about replacing your furnace, but it’s better to get it over with before the really nasty weather sets in. There are many considerations when planning for a new furnace and the team at Atlas Butler can help you choose the best system for the size of your home, the climate, your family’s lifestyle, and more. The good news is that modern furnaces are much more energy efficient and longer lasting, so your investment will soon pay for itself.
Key points when selecting a new furnace:
Age of your existing furnace. The lifespan of a furnace is 15-20 years and if yours is that old or older and is on its last legs, then be reassured that it has met or exceeded its predicted duration. If you moved into a house with an existing furnace and don’t know how old it is, snap a photo of the serial number and contact the manufacturer. Odds are pretty good that they will know. If the furnace is old, but still running well, just keep up with the maintenance.
Type of fuel. Furnaces primarily operate on natural gas, electricity, and propane and work by heating air and forcing it through your home via the duct system. Of the three, natural gas is the cheapest. Electricity is an option if you don’t want to run the risk of carbon monoxide exposure, and propane is a popular choice if you live in an area where access to natural gas and electricity is limited.
Variable-speed blower. A variable-speed blower helps you better control the flow of warm air throughout your home as opposed to single-speed blowers. Variable-speed blowers regulate the temperature, so it remains constant; whereas single-speed blowers spew out hot air at one time, then shut off. That’s where you have situations where it can be too hot, then too cold, which means constantly adjusting the thermostat. Most newer furnaces have variable-speed blowers, but if you have an older furnace, you can weigh the cost-effectiveness of upgrading the blower or replacing the furnace entirely.
Zoning systems. You can expand on the variable-speed blower concept by implementing a zoning system. This is achieved by having separate thermostats control different parts of your house. This maintains an even level of heating throughout your home, eliminating hot and cold spots. Dampers within the ducts can open and close, thus regulating the flow of warm air.
Thermostat. The thermostat is the command center of the furnace and that is the first place to check if you’re experiencing heating problems. There are signs that your thermostat is worn out if you experience short cycling, the furnace not turning on or shutting off, fluctuations in temperature, and higher-than-average heating costs. One solution is to install a smart thermostat. These thermostats can be programmed to turn on and off when you’re not home, adjust during peak usage times, and some models can even be programmed to remind you when to change the furnace filters.
If you’ve decided that it’s time to replace or upgrade your furnace, reach out to Atlas Butler at 614-681-2167. Our phone is answered 24/7 by a live person, and in most cases, we can schedule a same-day appointment. Don’t tough out the winter, be warm and cozy with a new, modern, energy-efficient furnace.