Replacing old Bay Area home heaters can seem very expensive initially, but it is often a great investment that saves you money in the long run. Given advances in furnace design, an old gas furnace probably isn’t as efficient as a new model, especially if it hasn’t received regular home furnace maintenance. Older heating systems have to work harder to keep a home at a comfortable temperature, which leads to higher utility bills. Beyond that, older gas furnaces are more likely to break down simply due to years of use and wear and tear (and that lack of regular maintenance!) Repairing a gas furnace may not be as expensive as replacing one, but the price tags of constant repairs will add up before long.
So, buying a new gas furnace for your Bay Area home is a sound investment. But you still need to know how to shop for your new heating system. Here are some tips that should prove useful.
Size Always Matters
Before you begin your search for a furnace, take some time to determine how big your new home heating system should be. A furnace that is too big for your home will cycle on and off more frequently, which will take a toll on your energy bills and place a lot of unnecessary wear on the furnace itself. Meanwhile, a furnace that is too small may not have the power to heat your entire home and keep it at a constant temperature. As a reputable HVAC contractor, we can examine your home and help you decide what size furnace will be best for you. Routine heater maintenance – including a winter heater inspection – can determine whether your furnace is still working as it should and that you have the correct heater for your home.
Choosing an Efficient Furnace
Gas furnaces are much more efficient than they were just a few decades ago. A good gas furnace in the 1970s might have an annual fuel-utilization-efficiency (AFUE) of 65 percent. When you consider that the lowest legal rating for modern furnaces is now 78 percent, that isn’t very high. Many modern furnaces can achieve an AFUE of 97 percent, making them some of the most efficient on the market. The more efficient furnaces are more expensive than less efficient models by about $1,000, but they are still less expensive in the long run when you factor in the lower energy bills and fewer repairs that come with a more efficient furnace.
Size and efficiency are among the most important factors when shopping for a new furnace, but there are some other things to consider. While a brand new furnace that just hit the market might seem like a good investment, you might be better off with a model that has been around for about two years. These furnaces have been more thoroughly tested and reviewed, so you can have a better idea of how well they will work in your home. The price of filters and any replacement parts should also be taken into consideration. The goal of replacing an old furnace is to have something that will save you money, not cost you extra.
If you are ready to replace the furnace in your home in Oakland, San Francisco, or any town between Santa Rosa and San Jose, you need some advice on where to start shopping. Contact Element Home Solutions. We serve homeowners throughout the Bay Area, and we will be happy to help you find the right gas furnace for your home this winter.