A New Furnace Can Reduce Heating Costs
Heating bills across the country are close to their highest level in years. Even if your older furnace runs, from an economic standpoint it would be wise to replace it. With the proper furnace selection, your central air-conditioning bills can be lower too.
Compared to a 17-year-old furnace, a new furnace can save the typical family hundreds of dollars per year. Based on the efficiency of your old furnace being between 60 to 70% at best, a new furnace in most cases will cut your utility bills by over 30%. You can do the arithmetic to determine your annual savings.
Not only will you have lower utility bills, but the comfort and quiet operation of a new system will surprise you. Your contractor should install a computerized thermostat with it. This digital programmable thermostat, coupled with the electronic controls in the new furnace will provide more even room temperatures resulting in superior comfort levels in your home.
Natural draft or (mid) efficient furnaces are no longer available for replacement. All new furnaces in Manitoba are of the condensing type providing efficiencies of 92% to 98%.
These models are very efficient, and so little heat is lost in the flue gases that a chimney is not needed. The gases are exhausted by a 2-inch-diameter plastic pipe through an outdoor wall. Some models also offer sealed combustion for better efficiency. The combustion air is drawn in from outdoors through another plastic pipe instead of being drawn from inside your house. Being sealed, there are fewer indoor drafts, less noise and less chance of hazardous back drafting.
A Two Stage or Modulating type furnace will provide the ultimate in comfort and efficiency, but at a higher initial cost. A variable-speed blower will generate a longer more gentle run cycle that almost eliminate any temperature swings in your home. This type of blower is also needed if you want the best dehumidification from your central air-conditioning.
In all but the coldest weather, the gas burners operate at a lower heat level causing the furnace to run more continuously with fewer uncomfortable on/off cycles. The blower also runs slower and quieter at this low level. On colder days, the furnace will automatically switch to high heat.
If your budget allows, also install a quality air cleaner. Since a two-stage unit generates a longer run cycle, the air cleaner will be more effective and beneficial to allergy sufferers.