A furnace is a heating unit whose purpose is to produce hot air which is then propelled by a fan and distributed to various parts of a house through an air duct network.
The lifespan of a high quality furnace can be up to 15, maybe even 20 years, depending on how you maintain it. If your existing furnace shows serious signs of fatigue and repairs are becoming more frequent and costly, it is probably time to replace it. Planning a replacement rather than reacting to the sudden death of your furnace may be wiser; this way you can properly evaluate the available options on the market and most importantly, keep the household warm.
Furnaces technology has improved considerably over the years. Current models are quiet, compact and offer a more precise level of comfort. Their main benefit is that they are much more energy efficient. Some models offer energy savings of up to 40% compared to the furnaces sold 29 years ago.
First and foremost, take the time to evaluate your needs and consider the various energy resources available in your area. A certified dealer will help you find the most suitable option based on your selection criteria (ie budget, energy savings needs and or desired comfort level.
If you start your research and are not familiar with the capacities and features of furnaces available on the market today, here are a few points to consider:
In the case of a gas furnace, the rate corresponds to the proportion of consumed fuel to heat your home. An AFUE rate of 98% means that 98% of the fuel is converted into heat, while only the remaining 2% is lost in the evacuation. The AFUE rating of a unit appears on the EnerGuide label.
Opt for modulating furnace models featuring an ECM motor. The variable-speed design provides extended run times at lower speeds to control humidity, enhance energy efficiency and reduce sound levels.
The ENERGY STAR label identifies products that have qualified as high efficiency. Of these products, some are also designated ENERGY STAR Most Efficient, which means they are leaders in energy efficiency.