Now that you’re ready to replace your furnace, there are a few things to consider when trying to determine the type and size of unit that would suit your home and your needs.
The size and square footage of your home as well as the layout and number of floors, will influence the size and BTU of furnace you need. The insulation level of your home, and even where you live in the country could affect the recommended BTU output for your new furnace, as colder climates may require a slightly more powerful and efficient unit.
Please note however that the correct sizing of a furnace is best assessed by a professional during an in-home estimate, as any online charts or recommendations should only be used as general guidelines.
The type of heating fuel available in your area, and the current heating system you have should also dictate what type of furnace to opt for. If you already have natural gas heating, it is likely best to stick with this. If you have oil or electrical heating, you may wish to consider a conversion to natural gas, and although there are additional costs for a conversion, this tends to be more economical in the long run. If you do not have natural gas available in your area, propane heating is a common alternative to natural gas.
Finally, your budget will help determine the type of furnace you get. It is mostly a matter of personal preference whether you want a simple unit that will get the job done, or a more high-end model with additional features and top-of-the-line efficiency.
We typically recommend opting for a unit that is at least a 2-stage model and has at least a 92% – 95% AFUE rating. The more efficient the unit, the lower the ongoing operating costs are likely to be, however in some cases the additional cost for the most ‘premium’ models may outweigh any additional efficiency savings.
Units with multiple stages, and/or modulating burners and variable-speed blowers may also result in a more comfortable home as the furnace will generate a more precise heat output than simple ‘on/off’ single-stage systems.
ENERGY STAR® – Furnaces with ENERGY STAR certification will meet a certain efficiency standard, and most crucially, may qualify for government rebates. We generally recommend opting for an ENERGY STAR furnace if possible.