7 Things to Be Aware of Before Purchasing a Furnace in Gainesville

Purchasing a new furnace may not be a priority in the immediate future. But it’s smart to learn the things that will likely impact your choice when you’re ready to buy. Here are seven things you’ll want to consider when it’s time for furnace replacement in Gainesville.

1. Size and Installation Quality

To run at maximum efficiency and comfort, your furnace must be properly sized for your home. When it involves furnaces, bigger is certainly not better. We frequently get requests from customers to purchase a big furnace in the misguided belief that a larger furnace is either more reliable or will provide better comfort.

The opposite is true. Large furnaces will short cycle, or constantly turn on and off. This leaves you uncomfortable, with more expensive energy bills and a furnace that could need replacing much sooner.

This is why it’s important to work with the right company when purchasing a new furnace. Even if it’s the correct size but installed wrong, the U.S. Department of Energy says you could forfeit as much as 30% of your energy efficiency.

Another crucial component of installation is ductwork. If yours is old or improperly designed, you might have issues with noise or comfort. A furnace is only as effective as the duct system it’s attached to.

At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, our Expert HVAC technicians are ACE certified, which means they’re knowledgeable about repairing and installing various types of home comfort systems. In addition to technical skill, our technicians are also trained in treating you ethically. We also support our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee for a year.*

2. Energy Efficiency

Furnaces are ranked by a term known as AFUE, or annual fuel utilization efficiency. Like miles per gallon on cars, this rates the annual gas consumption of a furnace. The greater the number, the less gas is spent during the heating process.

If your current furnace is 15 years old, it’s likely ranked well below 80 AFUE. As an example, if your HVAC system is 70 AFUE, you’re wasting up to 30 cents of each dollar you spend on heating.

Here’s how AFUE ratings work today:

  • 80 AFUE—minimum efficiency rating in the U.S. and Canada.
  • 90 AFUE—ENERGY STAR® rating for furnaces in the U.S. South.
  • 95 AFUE—ENERGY STAR® rating for furnaces in the U.S. North and Canada.
  • 98 AFUE—best efficiency rating available.

3. Blower Motor Technology

As you research new furnaces there is one more important consideration: blower technology. This part circulates air throughout your home. And it also uses a lot of electricity, so it’s important to be familiar with your options.

There are three kinds of blowers available on furnaces nowadays. They include:

  • Standard blower motor. Furnaces that aren’t ENERGY STAR rated have a traditional blower motor that’s been relatively unchanged for the past 30 years. This motor is the least costly and also the least energy efficient.
  • Constant torque motor. This technology strikes a balance between price and energy efficiency. It provides an electrical efficiency boost over a standard motor design.
  • Variable-speed motor. The most energy-efficient furnaces can operate at different speeds. Instead of operating at full speed 24/7, they will quietly run at a low or medium speed at times. This helps improve your comfort while keeping energy costs low, both in the winter and summer. And it also keeps indoor humidity in check.

4. Sound Reduction Technology

Sound has become a very significant consideration with furnace installation, so another dramatic improvement has been keeping noise under control. Some of these features include:

  • Sealed and insulated cabinets
  • Variable-speed blower technology
  • Whisper-quiet gas burners

With this technology, you might not even notice that your furnace is running.

5. Smart Thermostat

You probably use a programmable thermostat, but chances are you probably aren’t maximizing your energy savings. These thermostats can be complicated to program, especially if your schedule varies from day to day.

A smart thermostat removes all the guessing about energy efficiency. Many models can learn from your temperature preferences and then create an energy-saving schedule to match. They also recognize when you’re home or away and will adjust your heating and cooling as needed.

As an extra perk, you’ll also be able to keep tabs on and adjust your settings from just about anyplace on your phone. Some models can even notify you if they find a problem with your furnace or remind you when it’s time to change your air filter.

6. Warranty

There’s a significant difference in furnace quality and reliability. Like any big purchase, we believe it’s best to go with a major brand name. With a top brand like Lennox® or Goodman®, you’ll have more assurance in the technology and that the manufacturer will uphold its product warranty over the long term.

Furnaces typically have two main warranty coverage areas:

  • Heat exchanger. This is the center of the furnace and the most expensive component to replace. This part typically has a 20-year limited warranty or lifetime limited warranty, but this can differ based on the manufacturer and furnace model.
  • Main components. This involves the blower motor, electronic controls, ignitors and other key parts. Warranties can range from as short as a one-year limited warranty to as much as a 10-year limited warranty.

When reviewing warranty coverage, it’s important to know it's limited. So, you should make sure you get the limitations. For instance, nearly all standard manufacturer warranties only cover the cost of the replacement part, not labor. And labor on a replacing heat exchanger could get very expensive.

Once your new furnace is running, make sure you complete the product registration immediately. Many manufacturers may reduce the warranty term if the product registration is not completed. This step is simple and typically only takes a few minutes.

7. Cost

How much does all this cost anyhow? It could vary from $1,700 for a basic furnace, or $5,500 or more for a high-efficiency model.

As you consider these costs and the affect on your budget, remember that unlike nearly every other appliance you may need to purchase, your new furnace may help pay for itself from the monthly energy savings it offers.

A couple of other ways to save include:

  • Getting a new air conditioner at the same time.
  • Buying at the right time, such as in early fall, mid-winter and early spring. You may be able to get extra discounts and rebates during this slower season.
  • Take advantage of rebates from the federal and state government, as well as from your local utility company. We can help you navigate this process.
  • Finance your new furnace or enroll in our exclusive HVAC Advantage Program™. For just one low monthly fee, you’ll get a new furnace with repairs and maintenance included.*

How Do I Know When to Replace My Furnace?

Now that you know what to look for in a new furnace, when should you replace your outdated one? Here are a few ideas from our Experts that will help you make that decision.

Age

Heating systems typically last 15–20 years. How long yours will keep going depends on whether you’ve done furnace maintenance, where you live and your temperature preferences. If you’re somewhere with harsh winters, your furnace will operate more frequently, potentially making it wear out faster. The same applies if you like to keep your home at a hotter temperature.

Repair Frequency and Cost

Just like any appliance, as furnaces get older, the likelihood for frequent furnace repair goes up. If your system is more than 15 years old, those repairs can be especially expensive. Common and costly repairs on an older furnace include:

  • Blower motor failures
  • Ignition control failures
  • Heat exchanger failures

If repairs are more than the half the cost of a new furnace, it’s generally recommended to replace it.

Energy Efficiency

Furnaces older than 15 years can be very inefficient. You could be wasting as much as 30% of the money you spend to keep your home warm. Excessive energy costs and the desire to reduce energy use are also strong reasons to consider replacing your furnace. In fact, an independent study by Decision Analyst reveals nearly 20% of homeowners who recently replaced their furnace specifically did so to lower their utility bills.

Trust Your Furnace Replacement to the Experts

It can feel overwhelming trying to investigate furnace features on your own. Or know exactly when you should replace your furnace. Our Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning Experts are here to make the process much more convenient. Call us at 352-414-4006 or schedule an appointment online to request your free home comfort assessment now.


*For HVAC Service Memberships, certain warranty exclusions and limitations apply. See your signed agreement for full terms and conditions. For the Advantage Program™, please see your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. Lease with approved credit; visit ServiceExperts.com for details.

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