For homeowners on a budget, a furnace upgrade can be a financial strain. But so can paying excessively high utility bills to run a furnace that wastes energy. Here are three ways to get the most for your money when you’re making a furnace upgrade on a budget:
- Size your new furnace correctly. Your furnace should be sized for the space it will heat — big enough to do the job properly, but no bigger. If your furnace is too small, it will work much harder to heat your home, and is likely to break down prematurely. If your furnace is too big, it can waste energy and money. Your HVAC contractor should do a load calculation on your home. This tells you how much heating you actually need and what size furnace will meet that need.
- Choose a high-efficiency furnace. High-efficiency furnaces are, over time, very cost-effective. They can be more expensive to purchase, but the savings they offer on monthly utility bills can quickly offset that investment. To find a high-efficiency model, check its AFUE rating. AFUE stands for “annual fuel utilization efficiency” and indicates the unit’s overall efficiency. Higher AFUE numbers mean higher efficiency. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates, for example, that replacing an AFUE 80 furnace with an AFUE 95 unit can help you save as much as 20 percent on annual fuel costs.
- Choose money-saving accessories. Install a programmable thermostat that gives you considerable control over your new furnace. Create a heating and cooling schedule that aligns with your family’s schedule, running the furnace at lower levels when everyone’s at work or school or sleeping. Higher-efficiency air filters also may pay off by protecting your equipment from potentially harmful debris. Check your filters’ MERV and other ratings to determine how well they work to trap contaminants.
Contact the Home Comfort Experts today for information on furnace upgrades and for help finding a model that will meet your home comfort needs. We proudly serve Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan.