Replacing your furnace is a big decision, and it’s one that requires asking a lot of questions. Considering investing in a new heating system for your Columbia, Maryland, home? From fuel type to efficiency level, consider these five things before replacing your furnace.
How Old Is Your Current Furnace?
Before investing in a new heating system, it’s important to assess the age of your existing system. After all, furnaces typically last for 15 or 20 years before they need a replacement. If yours is significantly newer than that, it might be in your best interest to consider exploring the possibility of heating system repairs before buying new.
To find out how old your furnace is, turn it off and remove the door on the unit’s exterior. Inside, you’ll see either a manufacturer date or a serial number. To decipher the serial number, take a look at the first four digits. The third and fourth stand for the year the system was made, and the first and second represent the week of that year. If it dates back more than 15 years, replacing your furnace is a smart move.
What Type of Fuel Source Do You Need?
Furnaces generally run on gas or oil, and you should choose a system that uses the right fuel type for your home. If your home has both types of hookups, consider a few pros and cons of gas and oil furnaces.
First of all, it’s important to understand that all new furnaces have much higher annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) than older systems. Gas furnaces tend to be more efficient than their oil-based counterparts, with AFUE ratings averaging 94 percent and 85 percent, respectively. Heating oil has its own advantages, however; chief among them being the current oil market and the fact that oil stores aren’t easily disrupted. It’s a good idea to spend some time evaluating heating oil vs. natural gas when making your decision.
Keep in mind that fuel costs fluctuate from year to year, sometimes increasing or decreasing over 10 percent annually. Still not sure which to choose? The Griffith Energy Services team can walk you through your options.
Does Your Furnace Need a Variable-Speed Blower?
Heating technology has advanced substantially over the past decade. Many furnaces have features that enable them to run more smoothly, use less energy, and keep your family more comfortable.
Some of our most advanced furnaces have variable-speed blowers that operate at a very low level for most of the day. When necessary, they run at full speed to warm up your home quickly. Choose a system with a variable-speed blower if you want more control over your home’s temperature, a quieter furnace, and lower utility bills.
Should You Install Zoning Systems?
If the temperature tends to fluctuate throughout your home, with the kitchen always feeling too warm and the bedrooms always feeling too cool, we recommend zoning systems. To do this, our team installs a series of dampers in your duct system and programs each one to respond to a different thermostat in your home.
With heating and cooling zones in your home, you can set different temperatures for various levels of your home or keep the bedrooms nice and warm without overheating the family room. You’ll also enjoy much greater comfort without wasting energy.
Do You Need a New Thermostat?
If you don’t already have a programmable or a smart thermostat, you’ll want to upgrade yours when you replace your furnace. Many thermostats work seamlessly with a wide range of furnaces, while other models are designed to optimize efficiency for certain furnace types.
Our heating technicians can advise you on which thermostat will work best with your new furnace, and we can also offer a few tips for getting the most out of your new programmable thermostat. First, we’ll demonstrate how to program a heating schedule so that your furnace only turns on when necessary, in order to keep your energy usage and utility bills low. Then we’ll show you how to review energy reports and adjust your heating habits to keep the savings going all year long.
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