09 Jan Tips from a Glen Ellyn Heating and Air Conditioning Company: Furnace Purchasing Guide for Glen Ellyn Homeowners
The furnace is responsible for generating warmth in your home, which makes it an essential component of your heating and air conditioning system. But how do you pick the best furnace when it’s time to buy a new one, or replace your existing unit? In this short guide, we will help you decide by breaking down the factors that will play a part as you decide which furnace to purchase for your Glen Ellyn home.
Since different regions of the country have different climates, it’s important that the furnace you purchase is well suited for your area. For example, areas with milder climates—such as the South, Southwest, and Southeast—rarely face freezing temperatures, so the furnaces should have an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating of at least 80. In regions with harsher winters, the furnaces need to be more powerful, with a recommended AFUE rating of 90 or higher. In warmer climates where the temperature does not go below 40°F, you can even skip the furnace and opt for a heat pump instead.
2. Furnace Types
There are three main types of gas furnaces. They are:
- Single-stage furnaces – These furnaces are pretty much standard, and they feature a gas valve that will open and close in order to control the flow of the gas. However, the volume of gas that passes through the valve will either be high or none at all. These furnaces have an AFUE rating of about 80%.
- Two-stage furnaces – Just like the single-stage version, this type of furnace will use valves to control the flow of the gas. However, since there are two valves in the control mechanism, you can set the volume of the gas on a lower or higher setting. This will allow you to have better energy efficiency.
- Modulating furnaces – Finally, the modulating furnace will allow you to control the volume of gas the most precisely of the three. It is the best option for colder climates because of its energy efficiency.
You also have electric and oil furnaces, which have their own features and attributes:
- Oil furnaces – This type of furnace is best suited for homeowners in areas where other types of fuels are unavailable.
- Electric furnaces – These are a popular choice, despite them being less efficient than gas furnaces. These furnaces heat air using a set of electric coils, which is then distributed throughout the home.
3. Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency is measured with the previously mentioned AFUE rating. An AFUE rating of 80%, for example, means that the furnace will use 80% of the energy it receives to provide heat, while the other 20% escapes. It’s important to note that this rating applies strictly to the furnace, and that it does not measure heat lost in other ways (such as through the duct system).
Having a high AFUE rating is important, but the overall economic impact of the furnace is also affected by the fuel that is being used. An electric furnace will generally have a very high AFUE rating in the 95%-100% range, but since electricity is more expensive than other fuel sources, electric furnaces will cost more to operate, regardless of efficiency.
In colder climates, furnaces with high AFUE ratings are worth the investment over a long enough period of time, despite the price difference being considerable. You could see a high as a $1000 price difference between a furnace with a rating of 80% and one with 90%.
Interested in Repairing or Installing a New Furnace in Glen Ellyn?
Are you looking to purchase a new furnace in Glen Ellyn? If so, Elite Air is the company to call. We are the most trusted heating and air conditioning contractor in Glen Ellyn, and we can help you make the right choice for your home. Contact us today for a free quote!