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How To Choose the Right Furnace for Your Home

Factors to weigh when choosing a gas- or oil-fired furnace

furnace upgrade massachusetts Is your Middlesex or Norfolk County home ready for a heating system upgrade? If your furnace is over 12 years old, it’s probably time to start thinking about replacing it.

Older forced-air systems require more furnace maintenance and repair visits. These service costs can add up. You’ll also get subpar fuel efficiency from an older furnace. Upgrading will do wonders for your family budget.

Here are some things to consider when choosing a new furnace for your home.

Choose the right furnace for your home’s size.

Before you schedule your furnace installation, you must be sure that your new equipment has the heating capacity for your home’s size. As a general rule, a three-bedroom home of around 2,000 square feet needs 80,000-115,000 Btu’s of heat. Large homes need more, and some factors can increase your home’s heating needs, such as:

  • small children
  • elderly residents
  • residents who work from home all day

Know your climate.

Families living in milder climates can get by with less powerful furnaces. In fact, the “U.S. South” ENERGY STAR certification indicates a furnace that’s sufficient for warmer winters.

But in our part of New England, we need more heating power for our icy winters. That means a furnace with more power and higher efficiency.

Keep efficiency in mind.

Energy efficiency in furnaces is measured by annual fuel utilization efficiency, or AFUE. You can think of this like miles-per-gallon for your car. The higher the AFUE, the more heat you’ll get from your fuel. The minimum mandated AFUE for furnaces is 80. Today’s gas furnaces can reach AFUEs in the mid- to high-90s. Oil furnaces come in a little lower.

Choosing a furnace with a high AFUE makes a significant dent in your heating bills. Older, inefficient furnaces waste 30 to 40 cents of every dollar you spend on fuel. When you upgrade to a high-efficiency unit, almost all the fuel you use goes to work heating your home.

Choose a furnace that regulates fuel effectively.

There are three types of gas furnaces, and the model you choose will further affect your comfort and fuel efficiency:

  • A single-stage gas furnace is the most affordable option. However, gas only flows into these furnaces at one rate, regardless of your seasonal heating needs. In the long run, single-stage furnaces can lead to higher fuel use.
  • As its name suggests, a two-stage gas furnace has a low or high gas flow option. These furnaces are pricier to install but have better efficiency.
  • A modulating gas furnace offers the most precise gas flow regulation. If you plan to be in your home for a long time and have harsher winters, it’s often worth investing in this option.

Needham Oil Complete Heating & Cooling — 150 years serving Massachusetts families

If you think your oil- or gas-fired furnace is nearing retirement, Needham’s team can help. Our skilled and experienced technicians can determine the right furnace for your needs and budget. Then we’ll install it safely and with minimal disruption to your life.

Contact our dedicated team today to schedule your consultation.