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What's best furnace system for your home?

Published On: Nov 10 2011 10:48:27 AM CST
Updated On: Apr 15 2013 11:04:34 AM CDT
replacing furnace filter

iStock / JaniceRichard

By Isabelle Esteves, Contributing writer

When it comes to deciding on the best furnace system for your home there are several things that you need to consider. Only by comparing all the options can you come up with the best choice for you today and into the future.

Fuel Source When it comes to choosing a fuel source there are many things to consider. If you are building a new home then you have more options since one hasn't already been in place. If, however, you are replacing a furnace in your home then you already have a fuel source and what you need to decide is if you want to continue with what you have or change. Cost is a serious consideration not only on a monthly basis but the cost of conversion if you decide you do want to change. You will need to factor that cost into any long-term saving you are anticipating.

Size Choosing the correct size furnace for your home is vital to economy. If your furnace is too large it will cycle off and on more often than if it is sized correctly. This constant cycling on and off uses fuel and will seriously affect the efficiency and cost of operating your furnace.

Efficiency These days, highly efficient furnaces are available. They are more expensive than less efficient models. The savings you will get will be in your monthly fuel consumption over the life of the furnace. The amount you will save has to be compared to the difference in price between the models. If you are 80 years old and it will take you 20 years to recoup the difference then it is probably not a good investment. If you are younger and plan to sell your house in the near future the more efficient model will be a positive selling point.

Compare furnaces A good furnace system will keep your home warm, work efficiently and not require a lot of maintenance. The first step in choosing the best furnace system for your home is to call several HVAC dealers in your area and have them come in and price the job for you. Price should not be the only determining factor and be sure that you are comparing apples and apples before you make your decision. Also, be sure that if you are considering natural gas that it is available in your area. Many areas are not piped and you would need to have a propane system.

The price of electricity and fuel oil has been very volatile and vary greatly depending on where you live. They are both popular choices and can be the perfect option depending on your home and the state you live in. Talk to your friends and neighbors, it is a good way to get a feel for what systems work and which ones don't. Just remember that one of the most important factors is the size of the system and not over or under buying. You don't want your furnace to over work -- one way will leave you cold the other will leave you broke.

Choosing the furnace system for your home is a very important decision. Don't wait until your old system has broken down in January to do some research. If you know your system is getting old, do you research now, that way you won't be making a snap decision that you will have 20 years to regret.