Furnaces are more complex than ever. They have more new features, higher efficiencies, and, of course, higher costs. How do you know what is best for you instead of what is best for the company trying to sell it to you?
Here are some thoughts, warnings, advice, and lessons learned about furnace pricing and how to get the most warmth for your dollar!
Mid- or High-Efficiency?
Mid-efficiency furnaces are rated at 80-89% and vents into masonry or a metal chimney. A high efficiency furnace, rated at 90-97%, costs roughly twice as much and requires more sophisticated venting. Higher efficiency models can be good choices if you live in a cold climate or will be staying in your house for 10 years or more. Local energy costs are also important. If you live in an area with higher energy costs, high-efficiency furnaces may be more attractive. There are also some possible rebates for high-efficiency units.
Single-Stage or Two-Stage?
Think of it like a car. A single-stage furnace only has one burner rate, pedal to the metal. A two-stage furnace has two settings and burns at a lower rate unless more gas is needed. This gives your house more consistent temperatures and can increase the life of the unit. The unit is also quieter and more efficient.
Standard, Two-Speed or a Variable-Speed Blower?
The new DOE standards for furnaces now include more efficient blower motors for basic furnaces (80% or 90%). A standard two-speed blower has one blower speed for heating and one for cooling. It’s much cheaper than a variable-speed blower. It is also less complex, which can mean lower future repair costs. It is also noisier than a variable-speed blower and uses more energy. A variable-speed continually adjusts its speed to your home’s needs. It uses a fraction of the electricity of most standard motors, is quiet, and makes your home more comfortable. As stated above, higher initial cost and more expensive future repairs are factors when purchasing a more complex system.
Going with the lowest price isn’t always the best idea. This may mean that the contractor cuts corners or that the unit is of lesser quality. Reputable brands also come with better warranties—so be sure to research how long the equipment is under warranty. Does this warranty include labor?
At PECO Heating and Cooling, we will give you straight answers about the furnaces we offer. We are available 24/7 to make sure your furnace or HVAC system is running right. With our Planned Maintenance Agreement you can make sure that your system is in excellent working order every day. Twice each year, we’ll come to your house and perform maintenance that will give you the reliability you can count on. We also provide a wide range of home maintenance and repairs, including home inspection repairs, plumbing, and electrical services. To stay warm all winter long, visit us online or call 864-639-2424 to schedule your appointment!