Having a new furnace installed in your home is a sizable endeavor. Not only will the project take a day or more, but you'll have to put some time and effort into researching contractors in your area and deciding on the best furnace for your needs. During this time, there are a lot of questions that homeowners typically have. Here's a look.
Why can't you just install the furnace yourself?
HVAC companies often show you two prices: the price of the actual furnace, and your total cost with installation. This may leave you wondering if you can save some cash by just buying the furnace and installing it yourself. There are a few reasons why this is not a good idea:
- Local building codes usually require that furnaces are installed by licensed professionals. If you are found in violation of that code, you could be fined.
- In order to operate efficiently, a furnace must be installed very precisely. With self-installation, your energy bills could be much higher.
- Self-installation and repairs usually void the warranty on a furnace, meaning that you'd be financially responsible for any future repairs.
How do you know if a furnace is energy-efficient?
There's not much of a market for inefficient furnaces these days, so most furnaces on the market are a great deal more efficient than those which were made even a few decades ago. However, there are still efficient models and really, really efficient models. To start with, make sure you select something with an Energy Star label on it. This means that the US Department of Energy has certified it as efficient. Then, look at the AFUE. This stands for annual fuel utilization ratio and is an estimate of what percent of fuel is actually burned and used. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the furnace. Anything over 90 is good, and you'll see really efficient models with an AFUE of 98.
Can you switch fuel sources with your new furnace?
In other words, if you have a gas furnace now, can you buy an oil furnace or electrical one as a replacement? Though this is usually possible, it is rarely advised unless there is a specific reason for it. This is because switching fuel sources requires running all new lines – and possibly installing a tank on your property – which is costly. The exception is switching from oil to natural gas, which is actually quite common. Oil is not a very clean fuel and is quite costly, whereas natural gas is more eco-friendly and less expensive. If you need a new furnace anyways, it may be financially worthwhile to make this switch.
For a heating system installation, contact a company such as Pell City Heating & Cooling Inc.