With This Handy Buyer’s Guide, You Can Select A Furnace That Mirrors Your Home’s Unique Heating Demands
Choosing a new furnace system can be overwhelming. You might be tempted to just purchase an updated version of your current system, but there could be another system that would better correspond to your home’s unique heating requirements. If you don’t consider other options, you could miss out on increased comfort and efficiency.
Here are a few factors to consider:
The first critical factor for consideration is any possible restrictions to your choice. If you have a forced-air system and want to install a heat-pump system, you’ll need your ductwork inspected because heat pumps need bigger ducts.
If your home doesn’t have a duct system, installing them can be costly. However, adding ducts to a one-level home is more feasible than adding ducts to multi-story homes. If you just need to add air conditioning (to your entire home or to just a portion), consider looking into ductless mini-splits. As the name implies, these systems don’t require ducts. .
Homeowners in California are subject to electricity prices that are higher than the rest of the U.S. There are a few alternatives that can cut your energy use, like installing a solar-powered system for a portion of your energy needs, or using an “economizer” ventilation system that uses cool night air to cool your home after the sun goes down.
The efficiency of the system you choose is important. The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating reveals the amount of heating you can expect for the energy you consume over the season. Upgrading to a high-efficiency system, 90 AFUE or more, can lead to better energy savings.
Choosing the capacity of your new system depends largely on your home’s heating load. Your contractor should perform a Manual J calculation, which includes the size of your home, as well as factors like insulation, air infiltration and heat gain. To assess duct size, insist on having a Manual D calculation to evaluate the size of your ducts. These calculations will give you a complete picture of your home’s needs.
When upgrading, take a look at restrictions, fuel costs, efficiency and sizing. If you have questions, contact the experts at Air-Tro.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnaces and other HVAC topics, visit our website.
Air-Tro Inc. services the greater Los Angeles area as well as the metro areas of Riverside and San Bernardino County.
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