Information and Reviews of Home Furnaces, Including Types, Brands, Prices

If a new furnace is in your future, here's information you can use to help you decide on the furnace that's best for your home and your budget. This is a major expenditure, costing anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000, so you'll want to be sure you have one that will keep you warm in the winter, be dependable, and that will last you for many years. The type of furnace you choose will depend largely on what is already installed, unless you want to spend even more money totally revamping your heating system. It will also depend on the type of heat (gas, electric, oil) that is the most available in your area. It will be easier and undoubtedly cheaper to replace your current furnace with a similar one. What you'll also need information about, besides the furnace itself, is the installation. This is a pretty big project, and unless you are a truly gifted handyman with lots of patience and skill, furnace installation should be left to the professionals. We'll also include a bit of information about finding an installation expert, too. It's important to do your homework before you commit to a furnace and installation. This article will help you with your choices.

Furnace Makers, Furnace Types

The major types of furnaces include gas, electric, and oil. Oil furnaces are prevalent in the northeastern part of the United States, while gas is used frequently in the western part of the country. Heating with electricity is found throughout all parts of the country, and the cost of heating with electricity may be more stable than with the other two fuel types. Another thing to consider is the AFUE rating. It's an acronym for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. The higher the rating, the more fuel efficient it is. If the AFUE rating is 90%, this means that 90% of the fuel is being used to heat your home, the other 10% escapes as exhaust. Top furnace brands include Trane, Carrier, Lennox, Bryant, and Goodman. We'll include information on some of these brands below. A good web site to locate more information is Buyfurnace.org

  • Carrier
    Carrier is a top maker of gas and oil furnaces, according to Buyfurnace.org. Infinity, Performance, and Comfort are the names of the furnace models for gas furnaces. Most gas furnaces by Carrier feature AFUE ratings in the 90's. Oil furnace ratings are in the 80's. Oil furnace models are Performance and Comfort.
  • Bryant
    Also makes gas and oil furnaces. Like the Carrier furnaces, Bryant's gas furnace models have AFUE ratings in the 90's, with oil furnace ratings in the 80's. Their furnace models include several models under the Evolution name, as well as models titled Preferred and Legacy. Oil furnace models include Preferred and Legacy.
  • Trane
    Trane makes ten different gas furnaces and two oil furnaces to choose from. Consulting with their dealers should give you several choices of furnaces that will work for you. Trane furnaces are the least repair-prone models, and most popular among contractors surveyed by ConsumerSearch. Estimated installed costs are between $3,600 to $4,400 for a Trane furnace.
  • Lennox
    Another well-known and top-rated brand of furnace makers is Lennox. They make both gas (eight models) and oil furnaces (three models) with AFUE ratings of 80% to 96%. The Dave Lennox SignatureŽ Collection G61V Variable Speed Gas Furnace is touted as the quietest furnace you can buy and has an AFUE rating of 95%. The three oil furnaces have AFUE ratings of 82 and 83%.

Furnace Installation

Perhaps the most important part of your new furnace is the installation process. This is one appliance you really don't want to install yourself. In fact, many warranties are invalidated if the installer is not a licensed HVAC contractor. Some sources we researched recommend that you select an installer before you select your furnace. The furnace contractor can look at your current system, venting and duct systems and advise you on the best furnace to fit your home. It is recommended that you get bids from at least three installation experts before deciding on the person who will be responsible for your furnace installation. As you work with the furnace installer, he will recommend the best furnaces for your situation. Then you can decide on which one you want to purchase and have installed, based on his recommendations and your budget.

Final Thoughts

Buying a new furnace and having it installed is a pretty major expense, so it's important to research carefully before making this purchase. We recommend contacting an HVAC installation expert first. He can guide you towards the right furnace for your home. If you buy too small a furnace, your home will not be heated properly. Too large a furnace will result in wasted resources and more money spent heating your home that isn't needed. Your furnace should last you many years before needing replacement.

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