Important Questions to Ask When Replacing a Furnace
Posted by Moore Home Services
A furnace is one of the biggest investments for your home in terms of appliances. With proper maintenance, you could get your money’s worth with 15 or 20 years of service from your furnace.
But no matter how good the maintenance is, eventually, your furnace will need to be replaced. There are several signs that your you may need to replace a furnace.
What Type of Furnace Should I Get?
Furnaces come in several types. Natural gas furnaces are among the most common and energy efficient. They burn clean and use a pilot light to light the gas inside, which fuels the burners and heats your home.
Electric furnaces are also common and use many similar components to natural gas. Instead of burning fuel, they use a blower to draw cool air inside the unit and push heated air out, warming your home.
Though less common, oil furnaces are found in older homes or homes in cold climates with extreme winters. They may also be used in homes that lack ductwork. These furnaces burn oil and convert it to heat.
Can I Install a New Furnace on My Own?
Furnace installation isn’t a project you should take on by yourself. It may seem simple, but improper installation could cause problems at best, but may be dangerous at worst. Hire a professional HVAC technician to be sure your furnace is installed correctly and safely.
How Do I Know It’s Time to Replace a Furnace?
Here are some signs it’s time to replace your furnace:
Your furnace is nearing the end of its life: If you’ve had your furnace running for 15 or 20 years, it’s getting around the time for a replacement. Routine maintenance can extend the lifespan a little, but eventually, your furnace will have diminished efficiency.
Your energy bills are unusually high: If your energy bills are increasing for no reason, it could point to a poorly functioning furnace. Energy bills may go up if you have more occupants in your home, the winter has been exceptionally cold, or you’ve added extra rooms, but generally, high bills point to an aging unit.
You’re paying for constant repairs: An older furnace will need repairs every now and again, but if you’re paying for repairs all the time or dealing with breakdowns, it may be best to spring for a new unit and save yourself the money and headache.
You have cold areas: If your furnace is struggling to heat your home evenly and you have cold areas, it could indicate that your furnace isn’t running efficiently. A new system will save you in energy bills and keep your home comfortable.
When is the Best Time of Year to Replace a Furnace?
A furnace can be installed at any time of year, but it’s best to do it in the fall or spring. This is the off season when the HVAC technicians are less busy overall. If you wait until winter, HVAC technicians will likely be busy with other clients and you’ll have to deal with a cold day during installation.
How Big Will My New Furnace Be?
Furnaces come in a variety of sizes and efficiency ratings. The right size furnace for your home depends on numerous factors, including the square footage and insulation quality, as well as the climate. An HVAC technician will perform a heating load calculation test, which evaluates the circulation and air quality to determine the best furnace size.
You can’t just rely on your old unit. If you’ve made changes to your home, such as upgrading to energy efficient windows and doors, replacing old insulation, or adding rooms, you may need a different furnace.
How Much Does a New Furnace Cost?
Furnaces vary in price based on type, size, and efficiency. If you need ductwork or ventilation installed, you could be looking at a higher upfront cost. You will pay more if you’re installing two furnaces instead of one as well.
Should I Replace My Furnace and AC at the Same Time?
You don’t have to replace your furnace and air conditioner at the same time, but it’s a good idea. Air conditioners and furnaces that are around the same age will likely reach the end of their lives around the same time. If you only replace the furnace and keep the old air conditioner, the internal components will experience unnecessary stress and wear.
How Long Does It Take to Install a New Furnace?
New furnace installation takes about a day to complete. If you need supporting equipment, such as ductwork, it may take a few more days.
Will My New Furnace Be Energy Efficient?
Energy efficient furnaces save in energy bills, but they may be more expensive upfront. The AFUE, or annual fuel utilization efficiency, measures the efficiency of a furnace. The highest efficiency models have an AFUE of 90 or more.