When your old heating system clunks out, it can be difficult to find a furnace upgrade on a budget. Whether money’s tight — or money is no object — applying the same guiding principles to your purchase can result in money well spent that gets you big returns over the system’s lifetime.
There are four primary factors to keep in mind when selecting a replacement:
- Efficiency – Furnace efficiency ratings will essentially dictate your energy savings. High-efficiency systems begin with 90 AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency), with top-rated systems reaching 98 percent AFUE. Obviously, higher efficiency ratings will get bigger energy savings, so look for the most efficient system that will work for your budget.
- Sizing – The best systems won’t perform as well as they can if they’re not sized properly. So, it pays to have your HVAC contractor perform a heating load calculation, which will take into account insulation, heat gain, and other factors to determine how much heating your home requires. The payoff? Having this calculation performed often leads to the purchase of a smaller system.
- Features – What are the top energy-saving features Calgary homeowners should look for? A variable-speed motor, which will use less electricity to circulate heated air, or a multi-stage system, which can adjust the amount of fuel consumed, based on the weather.
- Contractor – The foundation of a good installation rests in the quality workmanship and expertise of your contractor, so don’t skimp here.
One major factor to remember when replacing a furnace is that investing more initially almost always gets you more savings down the line. So purchasing the best system possible within your budget will mean bigger savings each month when it comes time to pay that heating bill.
Don’t let a tight budget dictate a poor choice in a furnace upgrade. Use efficiency, sizing, features and contractor expertise to determine your choice. The result will be a wise and lasting investment.
The experts at Arpi’s Industries are happy to help you review your choices, and select a heating system that works for your budget. Our proven track record with Calgary-area homeowners shows that we can get results for all of our customers.
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.