Selecting a new furnace can be a bewildering task, but when you know the basic guidelines, it’s easier to make a good decision. Making your choice based on the fundamentals of HVAC systems and your home’s requirements will increase your comfort and overall satisfaction for the long term.
- Type. The two suitable options for home heating in the Orlando area include heat pumps and gas furnaces. If your air conditioner also needs replacing, a heat pump could be a good option since they combine both heating and cooling and are energy efficient and versatile in mild climates. It’s also cost-efficient to replace an existing gas system with a new one.
- Size. A reputable contractor will size the system using Manual J software instead of simply going by the size of your existing heating equipment. If you or a previous owner have made energy-efficiency improvements to your home, you could install an oversized system that won’t run as efficiently, heat evenly or last as long. One that’s too small might not handle the coldest winter weather.
- Energy efficiency. Both heat pumps and gas furnaces carry efficiency ratings to help guide your purchase. A heat pump’s heating energy efficiency rating is called its HSPF (heating season performance factor) and its cooling efficiency is the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio).Gas heating systems are rated by their AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency), which is the amount of consumed fuel that the furnace uses for home heating rather than being wasted as combustion gases. The minimum AFUE starts at 80 and reaches nearly 99.
If you opt for a heat pump, it makes sense to choose one with a high SEER and HSPF rating since the appliance also cools, which represents the bulk of conditioning requirements in Florida. It will take longer to recoup your investment with gas furnaces that have high AFUE ratings, since heating is a small component of energy usage compared to cooling.
Contact the pros at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions for help with furnace selection. We’ve provided top-notch HVAC services greater Orlando homeowners since 1969.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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