Tips for Buying a Heater


These days, picking a heater is easy. I have made an easy-to-follow guide for you.

Regardless of manufacturer, modern furnaces are all equally dependable and backed by solid guarantees. In my 30 years of experience, I’ve learned to compare a furnace to a good pair of blue jeans. They are all equally effective; the choice comes down to personal preference.

If you need to replace your furnace and choose between an 80% and 95% efficient model, choose the latter. A home with 80% would be a good investment and provide gas cost savings if you plan to live there for less than five years. If you intend to resell the units, having a completion rate of 95% is a must. Getting the 95% makes sense if you want to stay in your house for at least five years. There may be a $400 price difference. The furnace parts warranties for 80% and 95% range from around ten years. The typical guarantee duration for a heat exchanger is 20 years, whereas furnaces typically come with a 95% lifetime warranty.

With the rebates (incentives) offered by gas suppliers in 2011, the 95% becomes a more attractive option by offsetting a significant portion of the cost difference. The federal tax credit can reduce the gap by as much as 95%, saving you between $150 and $500. Some manufacturers also offer rebate programs.

Whether a furnace has one or two stages depends on how many burners and gas valves it has. Whether 50 degrees outside or -10 degrees outside, a single-stage furnace will always turn on with all 100,000 BTUs. Depending on the ambient temperature, a furnace that typically consumes 100,000 BTUs of gas can now operate on 60,000 BTUs thanks to the 2-stage gas-saving solution offered by the gas valve and burners. Staging dimensions are not standardized and can change from one manufacturer to another. Changing a single-stage furnace to a two-stage furnace might cost anywhere from $50 to $500. Single-stage (80%) and multi-stage (95% ) furnaces exist.

My advice is to go with a 2 stage if you can afford the initial outlay because the money you save on gas will pay for it in about a year to four years. The furnace’s burner and gas valve become “three-stage” or “fully modulating,” which means they may adjust the furnace’s capacity to more than three different sizes.

I think it is something to consider if you plan to stay in the house for at least ten years.

The furnace blower can either have a variable speed or a fixed speed. Low, medium, high, and turbo are the four speeds that come on the typical blower from most manufacturers. Therefore, it is not a variable-speed motor. It indicates the presence of four variable speeds. Is my house comfortable right now before I switch to variable speed?

If you said “yes,” changing speed isn’t something you’ll need. If your response was “no,” continue reading. By automatically adjusting its speed according to the heat or cold outdoors, a variable-speed blower ensures you are always comfortable in your house, regardless of the weather. There won’t be any more uncomfortable hot or cold areas because of the variable speed. The motor can do this by regulating the air pressure in the ventilation system. This means the variable speed can compensate for insufficiently sized or blocked ductwork. I would add that most of the return air duct construction is severely inadequate. The pressure from the fan can be reduced thanks to a sizable return duct. The contractor will inspect each duct system as part of the new procedure for selecting a new furnace. Because most variable-speed fans continue running after a cooling cycle has ended, they will continue moving residual cooling off the evaporator coil and ring out additional humidity, making the variable-speed fan an excellent choice for dehumidifying your home during the cooling season. Comfort cooling relies on the principle that the temperature can be lowered more rapidly if humidity is reduced.

My advice is to use a variable speed because it will smooth out any temperature variations. Energy costs will be reduced, and comfort levels will increase due to the reduced humidity. The more complex controls may increase the cost of maintenance in the long run.

Your decision between an 80% and 95% efficiency furnace should be based on how long you plan to stay in the house and its potential resale value. The more efficient something is, the less gas it uses. The cost of some 95% of furnaces is very close to that of some 80%. Get your work done. The investment in a two-stage heater is well worth it. Cost-effectively reduces gas consumption. If you’re willing to spend between $500 and $800, a variable-speed furnace will provide optimal comfort, save energy costs, and help level out hot and cold zones in the home.

Feel free to contact me at 630.549.0088 if you need help installing a heater in Chicago.

Author Biography: I have been self-employed as a plumber and heating contractor for the past quarter of a century. Plumbing and heating are the fields in which I was raised. I enjoy being a part of an industry where I constantly learn and face new difficulties. Working with our customers in any capacity, from sales to service to installation, is a pleasure. For the past three decades, I’ve worked to improve the comfort of homes and businesses in the Chicago area by developing innovative heating and cooling systems.

TDH Mechanical Inc. Heating, Cooling, Plumbing Owner Tim Hancz 630.549.0088. 312.810.7033

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