A new furnace installation requires assessing your household needs as well as addressing different heating concerns throughout your home. Before you make a decision there are various factors that can help increase your comfort and satisfaction with your purchase.
Although there are several options for furnaces, most people choose between gas and electric. There are several advantages and disadvantages to each. First, you should consider your current utility options. Some residences do not have any gas appliances, making the installation of a gas furnace a profound upfront investment. Electric is typically the easiest and most economical to install, because you do not need to set up a new utility. The economic impact of selecting gas versus electricity is reversed when you consider the cost of using your system. In general, the cost of gas is significantly less expensive than electric.
Your environment may play a role in whether you select gas or electricity. If you have mild winters, paying a higher electricity bill during the colder months may be less of a burden on your cost of living. For environments with harsh winters, you would benefit from the higher upfront investment of a gas furnace and lower monthly bills.
Zoning can be important in selecting the specific unit for your residence. Not only does creating zones for your home improve energy efficiency and comfort, but it might be advantageous if you are infrequently at home or work an erratic schedule. Remote access to your furnace can allow you to adjust the temperature when you are away, but it only works for overall temperature regulation. When you implement zoning, you can adjust the temperature in specific areas of your home.
Typically, if you are away from home, turning the heat to a lower temperature or off is ideal to reduce the unnecessary waste of energy. But there are areas of your home you might want to stay warm while you are away. For example, the kitchen, bathroom, and other areas of your home with water pipes are important to keep warm. To prevent pipes from freezing while you are away, you want to have zones that specifically heat these areas, even if the heat is off elsewhere in your home.
When your home has two or more levels, selecting a furnace can become more complicated. Regardless of the quality and efficiency of your new furnace, the bottom level will be cooler than the upper levels, making it harder to keep multiple levels comfortable. You can implement zoning to address this problem, but having more than one furnace or using supplemental heating methods might be a better option. When your main heating system is designed to service the first floor, this means the ductwork is less extensive and you will need a smaller unit. Your system will be more efficient in heating the first floor if that is its only job because the heated air does not travel as far.
You might want to purchase a separate furnace for the upper levels or use a mini-split system as an alternative source of heat. Since the upper levels will continue to gain some benefit from heating the first floor separately, heating for the upper floors can be accomplished with a smaller unit. If the upper floors in your home are not dedicated living spaces, but serve certain function, such as a studio or guest accommodations, a radiant heat system might make more sense. Although choosing multiple heat sources for your home will increase the upfront investment, it might be more economical over the lifespan of your system.
There are many variables that affect the system you choose. By considering your household, environment, and comfort needs, it is easier to find the right system for the job.