When it comes to heating your Lansing home, the furnace is still the top choice among homeowners here in Michigan. Although heat pumps are surging in popularity, many people still prefer to stick with the good ol’ reliable furnace.
That’s because furnaces are a tried-and-true method of heating a home. If you have your heart set on a furnace replacement, there are still some factors to consider before choosing your next system. These factors will affect not only the initial purchase price but how much you spend to operate your furnace over the course of its lifespan. Let’s explain.
Gas or Electric
If your home has access to natural gas, you’ll need to choose between either a gas or electric furnace. There are pros and cons to both systems.
A gas furnace will heat your home quickly and efficiently. The speed at which it heats your home is key to its efficiency. The faster it gets your home to the desired temperature, the less energy it uses. Also, because gas is usually more inexpensive than electricity, it’ll cost less to run overall.
Gas furnaces have safety hazards though. Although accidents are extremely rare, they can happen on occasion. Annual maintenance is essential with a gas furnace. If you tend to skip scheduling tune-ups, a gas furnace might not be the best option for you. Gas furnaces can also last slightly longer than electric furnaces.
Electric furnaces are less expensive to purchase and install upfront. However, they will cost more to operate, meaning you may pay more for utilities than you would with a gas furnace. An all-electric heat pump is a good alternative for homeowners who don’t have access to natural gas lines.
Gas furnace owners: keep reading! Once you’ve decided on a new gas furnace, the next thing you need to consider is its AFUE rating. An AFUE rating for a furnace is sort of like MPG for a car. The AFUE rating tells you how “fuel efficient” the furnace will be.
The minimum AFUE rating for a furnace is 80%. However, they go as high as almost 98%. Let’s explain this 18% difference which might seem small at first.
- A furnace rated at 80% means that for every dollar you pay in utilities, 80 cents goes to heating your home and 20 cents is wasted.
- A furnace rated at 98% means that for every dollar you pay in utilities, 98 cents goes to heating your home and 2 cents is wasted.
As you can see, that difference is quite large when you put it in dollars in cents! That’s why furnaces with higher AFUE ratings cost more upfront. The real savings come after it’s installed when you get that first utility bill.
Geographic areas that don’t experience extremely cold winter temperatures can get away with furnaces with lower AFUE ratings simply because they don’t use their furnaces nearly as often as we do. Here in Michigan, a furnace with a higher AFUE rating will really pay for itself over time.
Contact A-1 Mechanical Heating & Cooling for furnace replacement in Lansing, MI. Comfort and Character You Can Depend On