If your furnace is between 8 to 15 years old, you’re probably thinking about replacing it. The best time to start thinking about installing a new furnace is before it breaks down, but how do you know what the best furnace for your home is? We break down all the furnace options out there to help you make the right decision for your home.
The first thing you’ll probably consider is your budget. It’s important to think about how much you can spend, but it’s not the only factor you should consider.
While the up-front cost of certain furnace models may be lower, you should also consider how much the furnace will cost to run over time. High-efficiency and other energy-saving furnace types can save you money in the long run by requiring less energy to operate.
It may help to think about how long you plan on staying in your current home and whether that amount of time will allow you to recoup the extra cost of an energy-efficient furnace. That said, even if you plan on moving soon, furnaces can increase the value of your home and entice potential buyers.
Ultimately, furnaces are an investment, and you want to think about what will work for your family over the next 8 to 15 years.
As we touched on earlier, high-efficiency furnaces can cost more upfront, but can also save you money in the long run. By replacing your old unit with an energy-efficient one, you may also be eligible for provincial rebates from the Ontario Government or your energy provider.
If you’re interested in a high-efficiency option, look for furnaces with an EnerGuide label and ENERGY STAR® certification. Both are regulated by the Government of Canada to match certain energy consumption guidelines. Mr. Furnace carries a number of furnace options that are ENERGY STAR® certified.
In addition, you may want to consider an instant ignition furnace rather than one with a pilot light. Pilot lights on traditional furnaces require constant energy to keep the pilot light lit, whereas instant ignition models only require energy during the lighting process.
Staging options are another way to save energy that you may not have considered or even known about. Single-stage furnaces have been the standard for years and are likely what you’re replacing. However, single-stage units are less efficient. They’re also louder and heat your home less evenly than their high-efficiency counterparts.
Single-stage furnaces only have one stage or setting of 100% power, meaning they can’t increase or decrease power incrementally depending on the temperature of your home. Two-stage furnaces, on the other hand, can run at 100% power and a second, lower setting, creating quieter and more even heating.
For example, a two-stage furnace may have a second setting (or stage) of 50% to maintain your home’s temperature without the need for 100% power. Modulating furnaces work similarly to two-stage furnaces, except they can increase or decrease power in even smaller increments.
A modulating furnace can adjust the power setting by as little as 0.5%, providing your home with even quieter and more consistent heating than a two-stage furnace. They also provide more energy savings than a two-stage furnace, but modulating furnaces have the highest upfront costs.
The size of your furnace is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a furnace for your home. Even high-efficiency furnaces will use more fuel than they need to if they’re not sized correctly for your home.
A furnace that is too small will have to turn on more often to keep your home at a consistent temperature, whereas a furnace that is too big will consume more energy than it needs to.
One of our experienced furnace technicians can help determine the best size of furnace for your home using a formula that takes the size and construction of your house into consideration.
While you may save money upfront by sticking with your current furnace fuel source (since you won’t need to retrofit your home), it isn’t out of the question to consider an alternative fuel type for your new furnace.
It’s something to consider if your furnace needs to be moved to a new spot in your home, as the fuel lines will need to be replaced anyway. Otherwise, it’s usually best to stick with your existing fuel type, whether your furnace runs on electricity or natural gas.
Add-Ons & Accessories
In addition to the furnace itself, there may be certain add-ons or accessories that provide you with more energy savings and better home comfort.
- Filters. Your furnace filter might not be something you put a lot of thought into, but different types come with different benefits. HEPA filters, for example, help to filter contaminants from the air and can be especially beneficial for allergy and asthma sufferers. Whatever option you choose, make sure you’re changing it every 3 months!
- Humidifiers. Humidifiers have many benefits in addition to helping with issues like congestion and dry skin. A humidifier can help reduce static, prolong the life of hardwood floors and wallpaper, and can be built into your furnace system to provide your whole home with humidity benefits.
- Thermostats. A wifi-controlled or programmable thermostat has many benefits. In addition to being more convenient and allowing you to adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere, they can also save you money on your heating bill. They make it easy to adjust the temperature based on when you’re home, so you’re not wasting money heating an empty house.
- Zoning. Zoning is a technique where multiple thermostats are used throughout your home for customized heating for every room. For example, less heat would go to a room that gets a lot of sunlight and is naturally warmer, keeping your home more comfortable and saving you money. If your home heats unevenly, a heat pump can be another solution.
- Disinfecting. UV air purifiers use UV light to kill microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and mold. It’s similar to the technology used in sterile environments like hospitals and scientific laboratories and can improve the air quality in your home.
Still Can’t Decide?
Choosing a new furnace is a big decision, and you shouldn’t have to make it alone. Contact us for a free in-home assessment and quote. Everything we do is backed by over 40 years of experience and our comprehensive guarantees, so you know we’re here to help you make the best choice for your home’s comfort.