7 Things to Know Before Purchasing a Furnace in Dallas

Buying a new furnace may not be a concern in the immediate future. But it’s wise to know the things that will likely influence your choice when you’re ready to buy. Here are seven things you’ll want to think about when you’re due for furnace replacement in the U.S..

1. Size and Installation Quality

To operate at peak efficiency and comfort, your furnace must be correctly sized for your home. When it involves furnaces, bigger is definitely not better. We often get requests from customers to install a big furnace in the misguided belief that a larger furnace is either more reliable or will offer 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 right size but improperly installed, the U.S. Department of Energy says you could lose 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 & Plumbing, our Expert HVAC technicians are ACE certified, which means they’re knowledgeable about repairing and installing various kinds of home comfort systems. In addition to technical skill, our technicians are also trained in treating you fairly. We also stand behind our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee for a year.*

2. Energy Efficiency

Furnaces are rated 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 present furnace is 15 years old, it’s likely rated well below 80 AFUE. As an example, if your HVAC system is 70 AFUE, you’re throwing away up to 30 cents of each dollar you spend on heating.

Here’s how AFUE ratings work now:

    • 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—highest efficiency rating available.

3. Blower Motor Technology

As you evaluate new furnaces there is one more important consideration: blower technology. This part moves air throughout your home. And it also consumes a lot of electricity, so it’s important to know about 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 standard blower motor that’s been mostly the same for the past 30 years. This motor is the least expensive and also the least energy efficient.
    • Constant torque motor. This technology finds a balance between price and energy efficiency. It provides an electrical efficiency boost over a traditional motor design.
    • Variable-speed motor. The most energy-efficient furnaces can run at different speeds. Instead of running at full blast 24/7, they will quietly operate at a low or medium speed at times. This helps enhance your comfort while keeping energy costs down, both in the winter and summer. And it also keeps indoor humidity under control.

4. Sound Reduction Technology

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

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

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

5. Smart Thermostat

You probably use a programmable thermostat, but chances are you probably aren’t making the most of your energy savings. These thermostats can be challenging to program, particularly if your schedule varies from day to day.

A smart thermostat eliminates all the guessing about energy efficiency. Many models can pick up on your temperature preferences and then produce 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 change your settings from just about anywhere on your phone. Some models can even alert 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 leading 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 haul.

Furnaces usually have two primary warranty coverage areas:

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

When going over warranty coverage, it’s important to know it’s limited. So, you should make sure you get the limitations. For example, nearly all standard manufacturer warranties only cover the cost of the replacement part, not labor. And labor on a new heat exchanger could get costly.

Once your new furnace is running, make sure you complete the product registration immediately. Many manufacturers may limit 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 impact to 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 provides.

A couple of other ways to save include:

    • Replacing your air conditioner simultaneously.
    • Purchasing 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 figure out this process.
    • Finance your new furnace or enroll in our exclusive HVAC Advantage Program™. For just one low monthly fee, you’ll receive a new furnace with repairs and maintenance included.*

How Do I Know When to Replace My Furnace?

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

Age

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

Repair Frequency and Cost

Just like any appliance, as furnaces age, the potential for frequent furnace repair goes up. If your system is more than 15 years old, those repairs can be particularly costly. 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 throwing away as much as 30% of the money you spend to keep your home warm. High energy costs and the desire to decrease energy use are also strong reasons to think about 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 seem overwhelming trying to investigate furnace features on your own. Or recognize exactly when you should replace your furnace. Our Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing Experts are here to make the process much simpler. Contact us at 866-397-3787 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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