Heating Tips for Gas and Oil Furnaces.
You can expect the average gas furnace to last for around 20 years. If you're purchasing a new one, it's important to choose a furnace that provides the efficiency and home comfort you need now and in the future. Here are some tips:
Don't skimp on comfort. Today's furnaces can provide more home comfort than those from 10-15 years ago. Many of the high-end furnaces contain extra features that will make your home more enjoyable. Look for two-stage and variable-speed models that run at different output (capacity) levels to reduce noise and provide a better mix of air throughout the home (reducing hot or cold spots). Some extremely efficient furnaces, like the 97% AFUE Westinghouse iQ Drive modulating gas furnace, can vary the output level to provide the quietest and most comfortable indoor temperatures.
Buy the highest AFUE you can afford. AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency and is a measurement of the efficiency of your furnace. An 80% AFUE furnace converts 80% of the fuel into heat; the other 20% is lost up the chimney. Most furnaces installed in the past 15 years are around 65% to 70% AFUE. Today's minimum standards vary depending on where you live. In Canada, for instance, 90% AFUE is the minimum. Most rebate and tax credit incentives are tied to heating efficiencies above 95% AFUE. It's important to ask your local Westinghouse dealer about the standards in your region, and what state, federal, and local utility incentives are available.
Invest in a good install. With a new heating and air system, the installation is critical to performance. Make sure you hire a licensed contractor who is going to address your ductwork and other home needs in addition to replacing equipment. A quality installation will cost more upfront, but it will save you in service costs down the road.
Turn on the fan. Your new furnace may have a "fan on" setting (located on the thermostat). If so, consider running the fan year-round. It will continue to move air throughout the home even when the furnace isn't running. It's a great way to even out temperatures on two-story homes and reduce stale air. For even better temperature control, ask your Westinghouse dealer about zoning.
Invest in a good install. The installation is absolutely critical to the performance of your heating and air system. Hire a certified contractor who is going to address your ductwork and other home needs in addition to new equipment. A quality installation will cost more upfront, but it will save you in service and problems in the long run.