Replacing an old gas furnace or converting oil to gas may significantly reduce energy costs. Many factors go into the selection of a new unit. Finding a professional trained in HVAC, furnace installation and the many options available can help to ensure proper selection and return on investment.
Repair or Replace?
Depending on the circumstances, replacement may prove a more cost-effective long term option. Units 15 years and older tend to have a lower annual fuel utilization efficiency rating (AFUE). This percentage rating expresses the yearly beneficial energy input and output ratio. Newer components can offer higher ratings and superior proficiency. In some cases, older systems may benefit from retrofitting upgrades as an alternative to replacement.
Other Factors to Consider
Whether using a newer, more efficient two-stage unit or older single-stage unit, a furnace works in tandem with other home components. These can include forced air, steam, ventilation, cooling and hot water systems. Replacement or removal of old aeration piping, water heaters or other elements may be necessary. Specialists trained in HVAC, furnace installation and analysis can properly assess such parts, as well as insulation and seam sealing, and make appropriate recommendations. Though potentially a greater upfront investment, additional thermostat, gas valve and fan speed options may also help to deliver improved long term results.
Warranties can vary by manufacturer, but should include separate guarantees for parts and heat exchange. Reputable contractors can also provide labor warranties, and may offer convenient maintenance and inspection plans. In some cases, increased energy efficiency can also qualify for tax credits or other rebates.
The Professional Difference
Experts licensed in HVAC, furnace installation and home analysis are qualified to recommend the most appropriate furnace size and style for each home. They are trained to take measurements, as well as to assess layouts, airflow pattern systems, square footage, local environments and construction materials. They can also answer questions, clarify warranty information and provide work timelines. Professional jobs can last upwards of 15 years, and may be the securest approach to a functioning furnace and warm home.