What’s the Best Furnace for My House?

1If your furnace is no longer able to do its best to keep you and your family comfortable through the cold winter months, it may be time to look for a new one.

HVAC experts tell us that keeping your old heating system around for more than 10 years costs you more than the price of a new furnace. Today’s models are extremely efficient for heating your home, and the energy savings provided by a new model will quickly pay for the upgrade.

The world of furnace selection can be confusing, however, and you may struggle to decide what kind of furnace will work best in your house. Consider the following information when evaluating your furnace needs.

Two Kinds of Systems

  • A split system, which is most common today, is made up of a furnace, condensing unit and coil.
  • A packaged system has all the components together in one unit, outside of your home. If you don’t have a basement, crawlspace or attic, then you need a system like this that doesn’t take up so much room.

If you have a split system in your house now but want to open up some space, consider making the move to a packaged system when you upgrade.

Fuel Types

Most furnaces use one of three fuel types to provide heat. They are:

  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Liquid Propane/Heating Oil

A gas furnace uses natural gas piped directly to your home. This is typically the most cost-effective way to heat your house.

A propane or oil furnace is a potent heat source too, but can be a lot more costly to run than gas, depending on the price of oil or propane in your area. These also require more room, because you need a tank to store the fuel. However, they can be a great substitute if natural gas isn’t available in your area.

Electric furnaces are nice, but they are the most expensive option to run. These systems must create the heat they use from electricity, and that will keep your meter spinning all winter long. If electric is what you prefer to use, then the most cost-effective option is an electric heat pump.

Zoning Systems

If some sections of your home are colder or warmer than others, you’re using much more energy than is typical to maintain a constant temperature.

Zoning systems can help rectify this problem. Adding zones is way of dividing your house into different areas, each of which is controlled by a separate thermostat. Dampers within the duct system can also open or shut to help level out the temperature throughout the whole home and create a much more efficient means of heating the house.

Types of Blowers

Two kinds of furnace blowers are available: the fixed-speed blower and the variable-speed blower.

Variable-speed blowers are considered better because they have the ability to distribute the air more evenly throughout your home. This ensures that air being circulated remains at a more constant temperature and also ensures quiet operation of the unit.

Ultimately, every home and family has different heating needs. A professional heating and air conditioning contractor can evaluate your home and your existing system, and recommend the most energy-efficient and cost-effective system for you. The complex world of HVAC isn’t one to approach casually, because you’ll be making a significant investment in your new heater.

Contact a professional today to help determine the what furnace is best for your home.