Choosing a New Furnace

If your furnace is more than about 20 years old, you can save energy and lower your power bills by replacing it with a newer model. A new heater is a big investment, but it will help the environment by reducing pollution. It can also assist you with increasing the value of your Wake Forest, North Carolina, home, reducing energy costs and reducing the risk of a breakdown. Before you choose a new furnace, consider its sizing, installation costs, efficiency, and comfort.


Many contractors will estimate the best size for your new furnace or just install a unit that’s about the same size as your old one. You could easily end up with a model that’s too big. It will short-cycle or come on and turn off often because it heats your home too quickly. You could also get a system that stays on because it’s too small for your home well.

Instead of estimating, Alford Mechanical uses a Manual J load calculation to find the best size for your furnace. The Air Conditioning Contractors of America created it to make sizing easier. It considers the size of your home, the number of floors, the numbers of doors and windows, the amount of shade, the type of insulation, and more. A similar calculation called Manual D can help you find out the correct size for your ductwork.

Installation Costs

When you choose a new furnace, you should also think about the installation costs. A packaged HVAC system comes from the factory in just one casing, so it’s faster and less expensive to install. You can place it in your yard or on your roof.

With a ductless system, you won’t need to have ductwork installed or maintained. A geothermal system is more expensive to install, but it can last more than twice as long as most other heating systems. It’s also more efficient than many other options. If natural gas prices in your area are low, a gas furnace may be a good option as well.


To find out how much energy your new furnace will need, look for the AFUE or annual fuel utilization efficiency. It lets you know the percentage of fuel or electricity that’s converted to useful heat each year. All new furnaces must have a yellow EnergyGuide label with an AFUE rating. The label also includes the yearly operating costs for each furnace in a variety of conditions to make comparison shopping easier. More efficient heaters with higher AFUEs are usually more expensive, but their operating costs will be lower. They also tend to last longer than less efficient models.


A furnace with a variable-speed motor can keep you more comfortable than a conventional system. It can run at several speeds instead of just turning on and coming off. That way, it can save energy while keeping the temperature in your home more constant. It also increases your indoor air quality by pushing more air through your system’s filter.

Some furnaces have humidifiers to keep your air from becoming too dry in winter as well. With a programmable or smart thermostat, you can set your heater to turn down or off when you sleep or go to work. Then, it will bring your home back to a more comfortable temperature before you wake up or come home. Many models can even let you know when your furnace needs maintenance or repairs.

Alford Mechanical is a Trane Comfort Specialist with more than 15 years of heating and air conditioning experience. We can help you with choosing and installing the ideal furnace for your home, along with a variety of other HVAC equipment. For outstanding service, call us anytime at 919-246-5265. We offer quick, quality service, competitive pricing, and a 100-percent customer satisfaction guarantee. We hold ourselves and our employees to high standards of hard work, honesty, and professionalism.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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