Before you decide on a new furnace install, there are a few things you should consider. Installing a furnace costs nearly $5,000 on average, but depending on the type of unit, you may spend nearly twice that.1 Carefully considering your purchase can help you get the most out of it regarding reliability, comfort, efficiency, and longevity (not to mention long-term savings). Here are 10 things to consider when working with a furnace installer near you

1. Age/Condition of Your Existing Furnace

A furnace can last 15 to 20 years. But that’s if you’ve changed the filter as recommended by the manufacturer and kept up with annual maintenance. Nevertheless, more frequent use and the need for warmer temperatures in your home can wear the unit out more quickly. 

Furthermore, the condition of your furnace can help determine whether to invest in a new one. If it needs frequent service and a repair will cost over half the price of a new unit, install a new furnace.

2. Type of Furnace

Choose the type of furnace based on your heating needs and available fuel sources. Your options generally include: 

  • Gas Furnaces: A gas unit is often more expensive but can save on utility costs. It’s also extremely effective in cold winters. 
  • Oil Furnaces: An oil-fueled heater is also suited for harsh winters, but the cost of oil can be a concern. It requires more maintenance but has no risks of a carbon monoxide leak.
  • Electric Furnaces: Instead of combustion, an electric unit has heating coils that warm the air. Given the cost of electricity and the amount of power needed, electric furnaces are preferred in mild regions. 

3. Furnace Size/Capacity

The size of a furnace is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs), which reveal how much energy it uses to heat your home. The number of BTUs needed depends on your home’s square footage and climate. The colder your region is, the more BTUs you’ll need (for standard-efficiency furnaces, consider 30 to 60 BTUs per square foot). 

Consult with your heating contractor to perform a load calculation and select the right-sized furnace. An oversized or undersized unit will be less efficient and wear out sooner. You also won’t get the right level of comfort.

4. Efficiency

Annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) measures the annual gas consumption of a furnace. The higher a furnace’s AFUE number, the less fuel it wastes. The minimum efficiency rating is 80 AFUE; a furnace that’s 15 years old or older is probably well below that. To be Energy Star rated, a furnace in the Southern U.S. must be at least 90 AFUE; in the Northern U.S. and Canada, it must be 95 AFUE. The highest efficiency rating available is 98 AFUE.

5. Location

Before a furnace is installed, you must know where the unit will go. Location is important because a furnace needs access to an electrical outlet and a vent. Here are some other considerations when it comes to selecting the proper location for a furnace:

  • Airflow: If the unit is in too constricted of an area, poor airflow can affect performance and efficiency.
  • Insulation: The furnace should be in an insulated space free of drafts and where heat won’t easily escape.
  • Away from Flammable Materials: There must be no flammable materials near a furnace, including paper, wood scraps, sawdust, paint, cleaning products, or laundry.

6. Do You Need Ductwork?

Have a contractor check your ductwork and air vents before installing a furnace. No matter how high its efficiency rating is, the system won’t work at peak efficiency if your ducts are poorly sealed or dirty, or air vents are obstructed. Addressing any issues or replacing your ductwork before a furnace install ensures the unit will operate at peak efficiency.

7. Cost

The cost of a furnace depends on its size and efficiency. Single-stage units are typically less expensive than a two-stage or modulating furnace. Aside from the cost of equipment, consider extra costs, especially labor, which can add thousands of dollars to an installation project. The cost of installing, repairing, or updating gas lines and electrical systems is also a factor. Consider the cost of permits and high-efficiency programmable/smart thermostats as well.

8. Should I Convert to a Different Furnace?

Converting to a different furnace costs more than installing the same type. Updating from a propane to a natural gas furnace typically requires just a new gas line, so the additional cost isn’t that high ($150 to $300), but converting from an electric to a gas furnace can cost $1,200 to $9,850.2 Converting to an electric furnace (or any other if your service panel is outdated), requires replacing the breaker box, which can be expensive.

9. Technology

New technologies should always be considered when you hire furnace installers near you. The following can have benefits in terms of efficiency, comfort, and value:

  • Blower Motor Technology: Designed to circulate heated air throughout your home, the blower motor consumes a lot of electricity. You can choose a standard blower motor, a constant torque motor that boosts efficiency over traditional motors, or a variable-speed motor that runs at low or medium speeds for precise control of comfort, humidity, and energy costs.
  • Sound Reduction Technology: Features such as variable-speed blowers, sealed and insulated furnace cabinets, and low-noise gas burners reduce the amount of sound a furnace produces. Some units are so quiet you can’t tell they’re running.
  • Smart Thermostat: This is a step up from a programmable model and can learn your temperature preferences and create a schedule for you. A smart thermostat can also sense when you’re home or away and adjust your heating system accordingly. You can also monitor and adjust temperature settings on your phone from anywhere.

10. Warranty

One reason to choose a leading brand is a long-term warranty. Look for warranties on the heat exchanger (which is typically covered for 20 years) and for components, including the blower motor, ignitors, and electronic controls. Limited warranties on parts typically range from one to 10 years. Check the terms of a limited warranty; it may exclude the cost of labor or any service if the product isn’t registered immediately after purchase.

Contact Grasshopper’s Furnace Installers Near Clifton Park, NY

At Grasshopper Heating & Cooling, our NATE-certified contractors can always be counted on for a high-quality furnace install. They’ll evaluate your home and choose the right type and sized unit to improve efficiency, comfort, and equipment longevity and lower your energy bills. Our team also helps you understand how to use your new furnace’s various features. They’re available to provide maintenance, repairs, and other support as well.

To schedule an in-home furnace installation or replacement consultation, call us online or (518) 252-7937.


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