As we approach another winter, many home residents in the Calgary area are now looking to replace old gas furnace systems with modern, reliable new ones. But before you do, there are some things to consider when choosing a new heating system.

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Furnace Efficiency

One of the key advantages that Calgary residents can benefit from new furnace installation is increased efficiency. Energy prices continue to rise, and with that comes higher running costs of a heating system. However, there have been significant advances in furnace technology in recent years, so if your current system is over ten years old, you may be surprised just how much more energy efficient a new furnace system can be.

Furnaces are rated by annual fuel-utilization-efficiency (AFUE) rating, which is given as a percentage score for efficiency. You can obtain up to $5000 of the Canada Greener Homes Grant program from the federal government for home upgrades and renovations that increase energy efficiency, plus up to $600 for EnerGuide energy audits. Still, of course, high-efficiency models do tend to cost more, so there is a trade-off for homeowners to think about. You should look for EnerGuide and ENERGY STAR certification too, for confidence that the model of furnace chosen is proven as efficient as claimed.  

For example, a modern Lennox or Ducane furnace with a 96% or higher efficiency rating can save you as much as 37% on your energy bills compared to your old 60 AFUE inefficient system, which can amount to $500 per year. So, the right choice here really can make a difference. Balance the cost of the system with the potential energy savings to find the right furnace for you.

Furnace Size

Energy efficiency can make considerable savings in your running costs, and by choosing the right size furnace, you can add to those savings and improve performance and reliability simultaneously. A furnace that is too small won’t heat the home properly, and as a result, will work harder and longer, wasting energy and increasing wear and tear. That means higher running costs over time.

That is why most homes have a larger furnace than they really need, but that brings its own problems. It not only adds to the initial installation costs but it also wastes energy because an oversized furnace puts out more heat than the home needs. It cycles on and off far more frequently, causing uncomfortable temperature variations which also adds to wear and tear and can lead to increased maintenance bills.

To get the right size, always consult with AirFlex furnace experts, who will take the time to calculate the exact heating needs of your home and recommend the ideal furnace size. It can aid in energy savings and deliver lower ongoing maintenance costs, making your new furnace installation more affordable in the long run. A furnace designed right for your home will also provide consistent temperatures and performance, avoiding the problems that come with the wrong sized installation.

Other Furnace Features

Choosing a gas furnace that is the right size for your property and offers a high-efficiency rating for energy use will ensure that you see improved performance and lower running costs than your existing older system. But beyond that, think also about the features that you want to have with your final choice of a system. Some of the more desirable are:

  • Zoned Heating – Have different temperatures in different parts of the property, using numerous thermostats to control each zone alongside a dedicated central controller. Ideal for larger homes, where heating can be directed to occupied areas of the house for efficient heating.
  • Variable Heat Blower – Can lower the blower air speed to deliver less intense heat and lower noise while producing fewer drafts.
  • Variable Heat – Multi-stage furnaces can automatically vary the amount of heat delivered depending on need, avoiding over or underheating issues.
  • Filters – Some furnaces have, or can have as an option, an electrostatic filter system or a HEPA filter system to deliver dust-free heated air around the property. For those with allergies or lung problems, this can make a difference.
  • Warranty – Finally, different manufacturers offer different warranty durations. A longer warranty can have advantages, but always check reliability reviews or consult with HVAC experts such as AirFlex before buying to ensure you have the furnace installation that will prove reliable long term.

By being careful over size and efficiency, and adding just the features you really want, you can quickly narrow down your search for a new gas furnace that fits your needs. You can contact AirFlex HVAC technicians to help you not only install your new furnace but find the right size unit, and advise on different features and energy efficiency ratings to ensure you find the perfect new furnace for reliable, cost-effective heating for years to come.