As the winter season approaches in Upstate New York, you’ll definitely want to have a functional heating system. A highly efficient furnace heats the air and distributes that warmth throughout your house. In this region, that’s a necessity. If your current heating equipment is faulty or it has seen better days, you may be in the market for a new furnace. Since modern units are far more energy-efficient than those made just a few years ago, this is probably a wise investment. However, with numerous brands on the market today, it can be a bit challenging to pick the right one. It’s essential to research the various options available in order to choose equipment that fulfills your needs and guarantees your comfort. Here are some of the factors that you should take into consideration when you’re looking for a new furnace that suits this area.
Determining Furnace Size
Every home’s needs are unique, and installing a furnace that’s sized correctly is key to adequately heating your rooms. If you were to buy a unit that’s too small, it would labor constantly to heat the rooms as required. On the other hand, purchasing a heater that’s too large is also a mistake. Although it would certainly heat your house, you’d be significantly overspending to accomplish that goal. The furnace would use extra fuel to generate heat that you probably don’t need.
Check the furnace heat output, usually expressed in British thermal units (BTUs). The higher the BTUs, the more air your system can manage to condition. You’ll need to match the heat output with your property’s size by taking into account certain factors.
Measure Your Square Footage
First, determine the square footage of the space you want to heat. You can achieve this by measuring the width and length of each room, multiplying those numbers together, and adding the result for each space to arrive at an overall total. For rooms with a high ceiling, remember to pad the square footage a little. You can leave out any areas you don’t intend to heat.
Next, consider your geographical location. It’s worth noting that regions with harsher winters need larger furnaces. The US Department of Energy produces a climate zone chart that can be used for judging this. We happen to be in Zone 6, which is quite a cold area. Except for Alaska and a few spots in the lower 48 states, we live in the coldest section of the country. The recommendation for furnace capacity in Zone 6 is 55 BTUs per square foot. You’ll definitely want to compare this to the manufacturer’s specifications for any furnace you propose to buy.
Alternatively, you can opt to consult with competent professionals on the best furnace size for your home. If you’re in Jamesville or anywhere in the surrounding area, you can rely on the expert evaluations of our technicians at Holbrook Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll take care of the BTU calculations and consider other factors like load capacities to develop an accurate estimate. We can even do an energy audit of your rooms to analyze the amount of heat lost through the doors and windows. That way, you can make the best use of the energy you pay for.
Another critical aspect worth considering is the furnace’s annual fuel utilization efficiency, or AFUE. Manufacturers must display the AFUE rating so that consumers can make an informed decision. This represents the equipment’s yearly heat output compared to the total energy consumption. The higher the rating, the greater the efficiency level. For instance, a furnace with an AFUE of 95% will utilize that proportion of the energy going into it to actually warm the space. Only 5% is wasted. By choosing a furnace with an efficiency level of 90% to 97%, you’ll notice a significant decrease in your monthly utility bills despite the cold temperatures outside. Some people may opt to go for a furnace with an 80% AFUE rating. It will cost less, but the initial savings will be offset by higher operational expenses.
However, even with the right furnace, lack of proper insulation with your windows, doors, walls, and attic will lead to energy loss. Insulate your rooms, and keep the air duct system intact to cut down on this waste.
You might also wish to switch to a programmable thermostat for optimal efficiency. It will help reduce the amount of work done by the furnace and lower temperatures when you’re not home. Each degree you lower the thermostat for an eight-hour period will significantly reduce your heating bill and save you money.
A furnace can be powered by oil, electricity, or gas. Gas is the most popular option and also the most readily available. In addition, it’s cheaper, cleaner, and less messy than oil. There are various types of gas furnaces.
A single-stage gas furnace allows the gas to flow at a high rate only. For better efficiency, a two-stage gas furnace changes the gas flow from high to low via a thermostat. There’s also the modulating gas furnace. Although it appears slightly more expensive than the other options, it allows you to adjust the heating output, and this can end up saving you a considerable amount of money. Output is altered by 1% increases, enabling the system to very rapidly adjust the amount of gas required. Hence, it greatly minimizes your heating costs without compromising your home’s comfort.
If you don’t have a gas supply in your area, the next best option may be an oil-powered furnace. You can buy an electric one for a lower initial cost, but electric models tend to work best for smaller houses. They also have high operational costs.
When purchasing a furnace, you should look for some key features. First, ensure that it has sealed combustion to protect your home from harmful carbon monoxide. Next, check whether it has two-stage valves to assist in fuel flow. This allows the furnace to run high when you first turn it on, and then it goes to a low flow once the desired temperature is attained. Further, pick one with a variable-speed blower to deliver the air more slowly and with less noise when you need less heat.
Remember that a furnace is a substantial investment. You’ll definitely want to buy equipment that comes with a warranty. It might even be wise to pay for an extended warranty.
Contact the Pros
Investing in a high-quality furnace increases your comfort and helps save on utility bills. When buying a furnace, you need to make an informed decision. We’ve tried to outline here a few of the essential things you should consider, but we’d be more than happy to assist you in person. Our experts at Holbrook Heating & Air Conditioning will provide you with an in-home consultation. After we help you select the right unit, we can install it for you. We’ll even arrange financing options on approved credit.
In fact, you can reach out to us for all of your home comfort needs. Besides heating and cooling installation and replacement, we perform repairs and maintenance. We also provide Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats as well as water heater and generator services. When necessary, you can count on us for 24/7 emergency repairs, too. Our service area includes Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and the entire surrounding region, so give us a call today to discuss any residential or commercial HVAC issues.