An unexpected furnace failure can put a heavy strain on your nerves and finances. Once some of the shock and stress wear off, however, you can turn emergency furnace replacement into an opportunity to replace your worn-out heating system with a reliable high-efficiency model that will save you money in the long run. Here some things to consider as you’re choosing your replacement furnace.
Opt For A High-Efficiency Unit
High-efficiency furnaces are more expensive initially, but over time they are very cost effective. They make better use of the fuel they burn to produce heat, which significantly reduces your seasonal heating bills. Look for a unit with a annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating of at least 90 percent; a higher AFUE rating means better efficiency. Due to a federal government energy mandate, the minimum energy-efficiency rating in the Midwest will change from present ratings of 80 percent to 90 percent on May 1, 2013. This new mandate will affect everyone shopping for a new furnace, whether you want to exceed the minimum rating now, or are required to later.
Get The Right Size
Make sure the furnace you buy is correctly sized — big enough to do the job, but not too big for the space to be heated. A too-small furnace will work harder to heat your home, which increases overall wear on the unit and shortens its useful life. A furnace that is too big will short-cycle, overwork your furnace and create a very uncomfortable indoor environment. Oversizing will also waste hundreds of dollars in extra heat being vented through the flue system and to the outdoors.
Use A Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats let you control when, how long and at what level your furnace runs. They also give you the option to set the furnace to a lower operating level while you and your family are away during the day (or sleeping at night), then warm the house up to a comfortable level before everyone returns for the evening. This cuts down on fuel usage, makes for a more comfortable indoor climate and saves you even more on your utility bills.
Tend To The Ductwork
While considering the replacement of your existing furnace, be sure your professional comfort consultant checks the ductwork system for air leaks, loose connections, missing or damaged insulation or other problems. Have him inspect the main duct trunk to see if duct cleaning is recommended. Plan on having the ductwork cleaned professionally, if needed. Keeping the ductwork sealed and insulated can also save you money.
For 24/7 help with emergency furnace replacement, contact the pros at Overland Park Heating & Cooling. Since 1983, we have provided reliable residential, commercial and industrial heating and cooling services to customers in the greater Kansas City area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace replacement and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.