Buying a new furnace for your Tampa, FL home is an opportunity to cut your spending and your carbon footprint. New heating equipment can also improve your indoor air quality (IAQ) and create a cleaner, fresher-smelling living environment. To help you optimize these and other benefits, the following are seven things to know before finalizing your purchase decision.

1. AFUE Ratings Determine Efficiency

All furnaces sold throughout the U.S. come with annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings. The minimum AFUE rating for furnaces is 80%. Gas-fired furnaces can have AFUE ratings as high as 98.5%, and electric furnaces always operate at 100% efficiency.

These ratings denote the amount of fuel that a furnace converts into heat energy in relation to the amount that it consumes. For instance, a furnace with an AFUE rating of 85% converts just 85% of the natural gas or heating oil that it burns into heat. The rest is lost due to incomplete combustion and gets routed outdoors as exhaust.

2. Efficient and Cost-Effective Aren’t Always the Same

Choosing an electric furnace will eliminate your heating system’s production of harmful emissions and lower your carbon footprint. However, over the long term, an electric furnace might not be the most cost-effective choice for your household. With natural gas prices being significantly lower than the cost of electricity, you’ll pay a lot less to use a high-efficiency gas furnace than you will to use an electric model.

3. You Can Enjoy Quiet Operation With Noise-Dampening Technology

Efficiency, upfront cost, and ease of installation are among some of the top factors considered when replacing these appliances. However, features like noise-dampening technology matter too. If you want your new heating equipment to offer whisper-quiet operation, this is definitely something to look for. Keep in mind that furnaces become progressively louder as they age and thus, choosing a quiet model now will provide benefits long into the future.

4. There’s Good Reason to Pair Your New Furnace With a Smart Thermostat

It’s not always necessary to replace thermostats when installing new heating equipment. However, even if your new furnace is compatible with your old thermostat, there’s still good reason to swap it out. Smart and programmable thermostats allow homeowners to pre-set multiple temperature changes. This way, you can turn your thermostat up or down when leaving or going to bed to cut your energy use.

Smart thermostats are also Wi-Fi-enabled. With branded mobile apps, consumers can monitor and adjust their thermostat settings from any location. Some smart thermostats additionally send out helpful reminders for HVAC air filter changes and annual furnace maintenance.

5. You Might Need New Ducting

Replacing old ducting is a project of its own. However, it may be necessary to swap your ducting out if you haven’t done so in more than 20 years. HVAC air ducts have an average life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. If you have leaky, ragged air ducts in your home, keeping these structures in place will diminish your furnace’s performance and decrease its lifespan.

6. Your Furnace May Need a New Storage Area

Most furnace replacement projects are more complex than homeowners are expecting. HVAC technicians don’t simply slide old furnaces out and put new ones in. If you opt for a high-efficiency gas furnace, your new heater will have two heat exchangers and a much larger size overall. You might need a new storage area for this equipment or your installer may need to make several building modifications.

7. There Are Multiple Options in Furnace Blower Technology

Furnace blowers move and distribute conditioned air throughout buildings. Although entry-level furnaces often have single-speed blowers, many upgraded designs have constant torque motors or variable-speed motors instead.

Standard or single-speed blower motors operate at the lowest levels of efficiency by moving air at the same speed all of the time. Standard torque motors improve upon this low-cost design to eliminate hot and cold spots throughout the building and provide even and consistent heating. They’re more efficient overall and they cost less to use.

Variable-speed motors are the most efficient of the three. Rather than operating a a single, consistent speed, they run at low, medium, and high speeds. This allows furnaces to streamline air delivery to perfectly meet the demands of indoor conditions and save money.

Since 2010, we’ve been proudly serving Tampa, FL and the surrounding cities. We offer exceptional heating, air conditioning, and indoor air quality services. Homeowners can also turn to us for ductless mini-splits, new thermostats, and preventative maintenance plans. Contact Ahoy! Cooling & Heating today to schedule an appointment.

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