Features To Look For In A New Furnace

If you and your HVAC technician agree that the best solution to your heating troubles is to replace the furnace, rather than repair it, then it is time to start shopping! Your HVAC company should be able to recommend some good brands and good models, but you will surely want to do your own research, too. Here are a few features to look for in a new furnace.

Humidifying and Dehumidifying Functions

Gone are the days when homeowners would have to buy and install separate humidifiers and dehumidifiers for their furnaces. Now, many furnaces come with humidifiers and dehumidifiers built in. If you live in an area with fluctuating humidity, you certainly want a furnace with these features. It will help keep moisture levels constant, which will help prevent issues like warped wood, mold growth, and dry skin. You can typically control the humidity level of your home directly from the thermostat, just as you control temperature, and the furnace will turn its humidifier or dehumidifier on based on the setting.

A Two-Speed Fan

Older furnaces, and some cheaper new furnaces, have one fan speed. Either air is blowing out of your vents, or it is not. You should instead look for a furnace with dual fan speeds. When you just need a little heat delivered, it will run on a lower speed, and when you need more heat, it will run on a higher speed. This reduces energy consumption, which saves you money on utility bills, and it also helps keep your home's temperature more even.

Automatic Ignition

You do not want to buy a furnace with a standing pilot light anymore. This technology, although it is still around, is outdated. It is a waste of gas, and it puts you at an unnecessary risk for house fires. Instead, look for a furnace with an automatic, electronic ignition. It will burn less fuel and provide you with greater safety.

Condensing Functions

If energy efficiency is a priority, and it should be, look for a furnace that is advertised as being a "condensing furnace." This means that it burns fuel in two stages. First, it burns the majority of the fuel. Then, it burns any gaseous residues left behind, which produces more heat and condenses water out of the air. These furnaces drain out of a PVC pipe, so your installer may need to add some piping to accommodate one, but it's well worth it.

Talk to your HVAC contractor to learn more about heating replacement.