If You Need to Purchase a New Furnace — Consider Your Budget

The average life span of a residential furnace is only 15 to 20 years. If your furnace is more than 15 years old, you have a right to be concerned that it might fail over the long winter. However, before you purchase a new furnace, you’ll want to set a budget.

Fuel Types
The first decision you make when you purchase a new furnace is the fuel source. Although there are some environmentally friendly choices, most Americans use either electric, oil or gas (natural or propane).

  • Electric furnaces are the least expensive and cheapest to install, mostly because they have the fewest moving parts and accessory items. Unfortunately they are also the least efficient furnace type, which will bring you high heating bills.
  • Oil furnaces are the second most expensive furnace choice. However, they aren’t as efficient as gas furnaces and the high price of oil today makes them expensive to run.
  • Gas furnaces are the most expensive of the three to purchase and install. Because they utilize either natural gas or propane, gas furnaces are much more reasonable to operate than electric or oil. They are also much more fuel efficient.

Efficiency
Furnaces are graded for energy efficiency; and just like with cars, furnaces with better fuel efficiency ratings have a higher price tag.

Furnaces are given an AFUE (annual fuel use efficiency) rating. This quantifies how much heat a furnace creates compared to the energy it consumes. Modern natural gas furnaces (for example) score between 90 and 97 percent on the AFUE scale. It’s up to the homeowner to decide how important the efficiency rating is when compared to the unit’s overall cost.

Capacity
Proper furnace capacity should be determined by a trained HVAC technician. Larger homes and homes in colder climates should be paired with furnaces of large capacity, while smaller homes should have smaller capacity furnaces. Remember, bigger is not always better!

If you would like more information on budgeting to purchase a new furnace or furnace efficiency, contact your heating and air conditioning experts in Fort Collins, Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning.

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