8 Tips to Choosing the Right Furnace For Your Home


How you heat your Conroe, TX home can have a significant impact on your comfort and your wallet. If you’re due for a furnace replacement, finding the right model could leave you with a smaller carbon footprint, lower monthly energy bills, and a more pleasant living space overall. The following are eight tips to help you make an informed purchasing decision.

1. Consider Efficiency Ratings

All furnaces sold throughout North America are assigned annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings. These ratings determine how much of the fuel that furnaces consume is converted into heat energy. For instance, a furnace with an AFUE rating of 80% converts just 80% of the fuel that it uses into heat. The other 20% is lost as exhaust gases and incomplete fuel combustion. Targeting furnaces with AFUE ratings of 90% or higher will result in less energy waste from month to month.

2. Choose the Right Fuel Type

While AFUE ratings are important, they aren’t always the best gauge of a furnace’s operational costs. For instance, electric furnaces always have AFUE ratings of 100%. These appliances convert all of the electricity they consume into heat energy. However, electricity rates are usually much higher than gas prices. It’s also important to note that gas-fired furnaces offer even, steady heat, and they burn much hotter than other furnace types.

3. Optimize Efficiency with the Right Blower Motor

Multi-speed and variable-speed motors can help homeowners save cash by adjusting fan speeds to reflect changes in their climate control needs. Surprisingly, this level of flexibility can also allow for quieter operation and higher indoor air quality. While furnaces with multi-speed blowers usually cost less than variable-speed models, variable-speed furnaces are easily the more efficient of the two.

4. Let Professionals Handle Furnace Sizing

By law, fuel-combusting furnaces must be installed by licensed HVAC companies and properly permitted. Although you can purchase a furnace from an online retailer on your own, it’s best to let your installer handle this too. We use the manual J load calculation for accurate HVAC equipment sizing. This calculation accounts for:

  • Ceiling heights
  • Building sizes
  • Insulation types and amounts
  • Window sizes, locations, and designs
  • The number of household residents

These and other considerations ensure that furnaces are neither too large nor too small for their intended service areas. Proper furnace sizing allows for lower operating costs, longer lifespans, and fewer stress and wear-related problems over time.

5. Make Proper Installation a Top Priority

Choose a seasoned and detail-oriented HVAC company to handle your furnace installation. Improper installation can render even a top-quality furnace both inefficient and ineffective.

6. Be Prepared for Ductwork Refinements

If you haven’t replaced your current HVAC air ducts in more than two decades, now could be the best time to do so. Even if your air ducts are relatively new, these features might still require slight modifications or updates to accommodate your new heating equipment. This is especially true if you’re switching to a new fuel type or if you’re upgrading from a mid-efficiency furnace to a high-efficiency model. Just in case, always be sure to set sufficient funds aside to cover this additional cost.

7. Seek Financing to Expand Your Budget

You can target furnaces at higher price points by seeking financing for this project. Getting HVAC financing will lower your up-front cost, minimize the stress of furnace replacement, and give you access to models with cutting-edge features and functions. It can also leave you with more cash for duct modifications and replacement or other system or home improvements.

8. Compare Furnace Warranties

Most fuel-combusting furnaces come with both limited parts warranties and lengthy heat exchanger warranties. For instance, you can find furnaces with 10-year limited parts warranties and 20-year heat exchanger warranties. Furnace manufacturer warranties cover all replacements and repairs resulting from defective parts, improper assembly, and all-around substandard manufacturing. Choosing a furnace with a lengthy guarantee will give you better value and greater peace of mind.

We help residents of Conroe, TX make informed decisions about their heating and cooling equipment. We offer furnace, air conditioner, and heat pump installation, maintenance, and repair services. We also provide ductless mini-split systems, preventative maintenance plans, home energy audits, and advanced IAQ solutions. If you need help choosing your next furnace, contact Air Houston Mechanical LLC today to schedule an appointment!

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