Before I contacted an HVAC contractor to get an estimate for a heating system replacement, I decided to read up on the subject.
I wanted to be informed and make smart choices.
The investment into a new heater is significant. I found out that sizing of the equipment is extremely important. An undersized heating system won’t be able to keep up with the demands of especially cold weather. The unit will run constantly, use a great deal of energy and fall short of comfort expectations. An oversized furnace reaches the thermostat setting too quickly, resulting in short cycling, excessive wear and tear and higher energy bills. I needed to find an HVAC contractor that uses Manual J calculations to determine exact heating load. Another thing to consider is the local climate. While some areas have mild enough winters that a heat pump is a great choice, I need a heating system that can handle temperatures down to twenty below zero. Because my house is already outfitted with ductwork, it makes sense to install a forced air furnace. There is a wide selection of furnaces available. Those that are Energy Star rated tend to be more expensive. The higher AFUE ratings provide greater energy efficiency and lower running costs. I am willing to pay more initially to lower my gas bills. I’m also interested in zone control. Having thermostats installed in each room and being able to customize airflow would eliminate the need to heat empty areas of the house to perfect temperature. This would work to reduce expense and also elevate comfort.