Over the years, furnace technology has allowed manufacturers to design ultra-efficient furnaces, such as conventional forced-air furnaces or multi-stage systems. As a homeowner, you’ve probably also made adjustments to your home to create a more efficient, tightly sealed envelope. When the time comes to select a new furnace, the last thing you want to do is choose the same system. Using these questions, you can make an educated decision based on the latest technological advances and your home’s needs.
Has your home’s heating load changed? When a homeowner upgrades insulation or adds a ventilation system, the heating load that the home requires also changes. If you simply replaced your furnace with an identical one, you’d probably be wasting your money. The best thing to do is have a load calculation performed by an expert HVAC contractor. Using the industry-standard method from the Canadian Standards Association, this calculation takes heat gain from the sun, your home’s square footage, and design factors such as cathedral ceilings into consideration. Once proper sizing is done, you can then select the new system’s capacity.
What efficiency do you need? Furnace efficiency is rated via Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE), and Canadian standards now require that all new furnace systems are manufactured at 90 percent AFUE. With this AFUE rating, your furnace will lose just 10 percent of the energy it consumes to heat your home. You can, however, choose a furnace with a higher AFUE rating, and your local HVAC contractor should be able to help you select the right efficiency based on heating load.
Do you want to change fuel sources? It’s difficult to predict future prices, but natural gas is a good option. However, prices in your area will vary based on demand and the price your local energy company sets. Now is also the ideal time to consider renewable sources, like solar or geothermal.
If you’d like help making your furnace choice, contact the experts at Arpi’s Industries Ltd. We are industry leaders in the Calgary area, and we have a solid reputation backed by years of satisfied customers. Call us anytime.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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