You limped through last winter with a furnace that was no longer up to the job, and you know you’ll be needing a replacement this fall. You still have plenty of time to choose the model that’s ideal for your Wichita home and have it expertly installed. But before you make any decisions, do your homework. Furnaces have changed quite a bit since you purchased your last unit. Here are some of the energy-saving and comfort options that you’ll find on today’s systems.
- Electronic ignition systems: No more worries about the pilot light going out, because many of today’s furnaces don’t have them. The pilot lights in older systems were energy wasters. Electronic ignition systems eliminate that problem.
- Variable-speed blower and variable heat output: The blowers on older furnaces simply started and stopped. When your home reached a certain temperature, they went on, and when your home was warm again, they went off. This meant that the temperature in your home could range several degrees. A variable-speed blower runs at a slower speed most of the time, keeping the temperature in your home consistent. When you do need more heat, it ramps up. You have not only a more comfortable home, but also one that’s less expensive to heat.
- Dual heat exchanger: This secondary exchanger draws heat from exhaust gases, which otherwise would go up the chimney, and allows that heat to be used in your home. This option greatly enhances the energy efficiency of your furnace.
- Zoned heating: This feature allows you to heat individual areas of your home to specification. The second floor of your home, for example, can have one temperature, while the first floor can have another.
While these options can greatly enhance your home comfort and energy efficiency, they won’t give you the satisfaction you expect if you fail to hire an expert contractor who will size your system correctly after doing a thorough load calculation. Make sure your contractor uses the industry standard Manual J and Manual D calculations. Never go with a contractor who uses a rule-of-thumb calculation based on just the size of your present system or your home’s square footage.
Need help with your homework? Contact the professionals at Comfort Systems, and we can help you choose the furnace that’s just right for your home. Then we can see to it that it’s expertly installed and maintained. We have proudly served the Wichita area since 1996.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace replacement and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.