With average lows dropping to 18 degrees in the winter, a good furnace is definitely essential in New Jersey. There are all sorts of styles available for sale, so it pays to do some research before picking out your furnace. The right choice will keep you toasty warm all winter long without resulting in ridiculously high heating bills. Here are the main things you need to think about as you shop for a furnace.
Think About Your Fuel Type Carefully
One of the first things you need to do is think about what sort of power you want to use for your furnace. Furnaces are available in oil-powered, gas-powered, and electric-powered options. Typically, gas is one of the best options for running a furnace. In most parts of New Jersey, gas will be more readily available and cheaper than oil. However, check rates with your local gas and oil companies because prices can vary a little.
Some people are tempted to go with an electric furnace because it is cheaper to purchase and install the furnace. However, this really is not a good idea for most New Jersey residents. The problem with electric furnaces is that they need a lot of power to generate enough heat in a chilly climate. This means they cost a lot more to operate. In the long run, operating costs make electric furnaces pricier even though they are cheaper to purchase. For the typical New Jersey homeowner, a gas furnace is almost always the best choice.
Decide Whether You Want Single or Two Stage
In addition to fuel type, the other major difference between furnaces is their potential stages. Essentially, different furnaces have valves that let them operate at different levels. A single-stage furnace basically only blows at one speed all year round. It is either on or off. A two-stage furnace has a low or high level. You can swap between to adjust the amount of fuel flowing to the furnace. Another option is a modulating furnace, which will allow you to increase the output in increments as low as 1%.
The right style depends on your needs. Single-stage heaters are the least efficient, and their blasts of super-strong heat can make your home uncomfortably dry and hot sometimes. They might be affordable, but they really are not recommended for harsh New Jersey winters. Meanwhile, modulating furnaces are the most expensive, but they provide the highest heating efficiency and comfort. They are worth it if you can afford it, but the higher initial cost can be a bit much for some homeowners. Two-stage furnaces are often a great compromise between affordability and efficiency. They are a little pricier to purchase, but their ability to save money on heating bills pays for itself.
Find the Right Size
Picking out the right size for your furnace is essential to saving money and staying comfortable all winter long. If you accidentally get an undersized furnace, you end up with a furnace that constantly runs yet cannot keep your home warm. If your furnace is oversized, it tends to cycle on and off repeatedly in a problem called short-cycling. This wastes a lot of fuel, so you end up with sky-high heating bills. Furnace sizes are measured in British thermal units (BTU). BTU tells you how much heat your furnace can output while it runs. Typically, homeowners need around 40 to 45 BTU per square foot of floor space.
However, keep in mind that several factors affect what size you need. Your basic square footage can give you a rough estimate, but you also have to consider several other things. The height of your ceiling, the shape of your rooms, and the number of windows you have can affect the size of the furnace you should get. Your insulation materials, ductwork layout, and even the number of people in your family affect furnace size. You can go with the BTU on your current furnace if you are happy with how it performs. However, if you notice any of the issues associated with an under or oversized furnace, it may be worth getting heating installation experts to analyze your home.
Make Sure Your AFUE Rating Is High Enough
When comparing different models, please take a close look at their AFUE rating. AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency. It is a type of measurement used to see how efficient a furnace is at converting fuel into heat. So, for example, a furnace with an AFUE rating of 85% would be able to turn 85% of the fuel it consumes into heat. For New Jersey, ENERGY STAR recommends that furnaces have at least an AFUE rating of 90 or higher.
A higher AFUE rating is important because it reduces the amount of energy you need to burn. This is more environmentally friendly, resulting in less waste and reduced emissions. Furthermore, it means you do not spend as much on heating bills. For example, compared to a furnace with an AFUE of 80, a 90 AFUE rated furnace saves about 9% more energy costs. Higher AFUE ratings lead to higher furnace costs, but you may save hundreds or thousands of dollars on how much you pay for gas, electricity, or oil over the course of their lifespan. Just keep in mind that there is a drop off in efficiency around 95 AFUE ratings. Extremely high AFUE ratings may be pricey without offering much of a difference in fuel savings.
Consider Some Other Helpful Features
The most important things you need to think about when furnace shopping are simply fuel type, motor type, size, and AFUE rating. However, many other less essential features still have a big impact on how well a furnace runs. For example, some furnaces are specifically designed to function with high-efficiency filters. These HEPA filters remove more pollen, mold, and pet dander from the air, so they are useful for those with allergies and respiratory issues.
Another helpful feature to consider is a sealed combustion furnace. These furnaces use sealed intake and outtake vents to entirely isolate the gas-burning process from the interior of your home. Besides being quieter and more efficient, they are also far safer because they ensure no gas exhaust gets into your indoor air. A final thing to look at is blower speed. Some furnaces only have a single blower speed while others have variable-speed blowers. A variable-speed blower is a little pricier, but just like a two-stage or modulating furnace, it is more efficient and produces more comfortable temperature adjustments.
To get the best possible furnace for your Monmouth County home, turn to the experts. [Company_name] is always happy to help analyze your heating needs and recommend furnace types. Our team also has plenty of experience handling repairs, installation, and maintenance for air conditioners and plumbing systems. To learn more about our services, click or call now.What Type of Furnace Works Best for Chilly New Jersey Winters?