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Buyers Guide to Purchasing A Furnace

Being a first time buyer in the world furnaces and HVAC units is not easy. There is a lot of information floating around out there, and we know how hard it can be to sift through the fluff and find some actual guidance. That’s why Arco Comfort Air wanted to provide you with this synopsis of some of your options.

While your final decision is ultimately up to you, you may not even know where to begin. The type of furnace that a specific home needs is not something you necessarily learn in grade school. We want to take a moment to cover some of the basics, and hopefully give you an idea of what you’re going to need, and where to start looking.

First and foremost, it is important to be informed about AFUE. This stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. Simply put, it’s the measure of how efficiently your furnace burns through it’s fuel. Basically if a furnace has an AFUE rate of 85, that means that 85% of the fuel going into the machine is being turned into heat for your home. The other 15% escapes and is essentially wasted.

The AFUE rating is going to be different based on what type of furnace you are interested in, whether it be a single-stage, a two-stage, or a modulating furnace. Let’s go over what each type is good for and why.

Single-stage: Single-stage furnaces are the simplest. They can either be on, or they can be off. When turned on, they are operating at 100% capacity. The efficiency of these units vary, mostly hanging around the 80 to 90 range. They are usually the cheapest option as well, and if you aren’t worried about maintaining specified temperatures that never fluctuates, a single-stage furnace will get the job done.

Two-stage: Two-stage furnaces are the most common. They can fire at two different levels, depending on the heating needs of the home at any given time. Usually two-stage furnaces operate at a lower rate of around 60-70%, so they aren’t using as much energy as a single-stage. They will stay running at a lower rate for a majority of the day, which saves energy. The unit only amps up to full capacity if the temperature outside drops dramatically, or if the thermostat is turned up inside the home.

Modulating: Modulating furnaces are the best on the market. They can heat your home to a specific temperature, and will adjust to keep the home steadily heated to that specific degree. They can operate at anywhere from 40 to 100%, depending on the heating needs of the home. If you have delicate artwork, or musical instruments or just prefer to keep an optimum level of comfort in your home, the modulating furnace may be the best choice for you.

There is so much more to learn about each of these types of units, and about heating options in general. We’ll be going into more detail soon and we want to keep giving you the guidelines you need as you search for a new furnace.

If you have more questions and want to talk to an expert, we encourage you to give us a call! We can connect you with a technician that will be happy to answer your questions and help set you up for an installation. We want you to feel comfortable with your decisions, and know that you have made the right choices leading up to your new purchase. Arco Comfort Air is here to provide you with quality service, from the time that you decide you need a new furnace, right up to the time when you can sit back and relax in a newly heated home.