When selecting a forced air furnace, what should I be looking at/for? Part 2 – 5/17/13
For some, value is simple: overall dollars per btu of heat.
If that is the case, a 95% AFUE furnace with PCS blower motor, with fan set to run during heating and cooling (not continuous) will likely provide best rate of return.
For others, comfort is part of value.
Do you run or want to run your furnace fan 24/7? If yes, then an ECM or X13 blower motor is a good choice because they run more efficiently than a PCS motor.
Is having a really quiet furnace important to you? If yes, then a two stage or fully modulating furnace with variable speed blower will be important because often times blower
will run at lower speed and be so quiet you may not know it is running.
Enhancing resale of your home is also part of value. A brand name furnace with a good reputation will make your home easier to sell when the time comes.
Warranty is an important part of value. Many furnaces come with lifetime heat exchanger warranties. 20 year heat exchanger warranty should be a minimum.
What is warranty on rest of furnace? Most warranties do not include labor. Are parts easily changed out? Some furnaces are so easy to change parts on, and parts warranty is so long (10 years)
that long term cost of operation may be lower that a less expensive furnace. Ask service tech what brands of furnaces he prefers to work on.
Value to some is being green. Selecting most efficient performance fully modulating with variable speed blower and inducer, coupled with a communicating thermostat,
will leave smallest carbon footprint.
Check with your energy utility for rebates and/or programs that may affect your decision.
Value is always tied to your contractor. Low bidder may have lowest installed price, but will he be there Christmas eve when your furnace condensate drain plugs and shuts your furnace down?
A reputable contractor, close to home, who provides information tailored to your needs, will help sort through what works best for you, and educate you so that you can make an informed decision.
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