When properly maintained, a correctly installed furnace can last 15 to 30 years. A furnace is a solid investment and performs an important job throughout its lifetime. That being said, eventually, most homes will need a furnace replacement, and when that time comes, call Presidential Heating & Air Conditioning of Gaithersburg. We are a well-respected HVAC contractor serving Montgomery, County, Howard County, and Frederick, Maryland, as well as Washington, D.C., for 40 years.
Signs You May Need Furnace Replacement
Most homes and many commercial buildings in the greater D.C. area use a forced-air heating system. These HVAC systems are economical, reliable, and easy to operate. They’re perfect for this part of the country where we use our heat and air conditioning equally because they rely on the same ductwork to deliver treated air throughout your home or building.
A forced-air furnace is a great choice; however, it will still need maintenance and repairs over the years. Eventually, your furnace may show signs that repairs may not be the best choice for you, economically.
It is sometimes difficult to notice that your furnace is losing efficiency. Some of your rooms may be colder than they used to be (especially if they are upstairs). Your gas or electric bill also might be slowly creeping up due to your furnace’s inefficiency, but you may have attributed it to rising prices or other appliances in your home.
If your furnace needs an expensive repair and it’s at least 15 years old, this is a good time for homeowners to consider furnace replacement. Oftentimes the cost of furnace replacement is not that much more than the repair, and your money would be better spent on a new unit.
Whenever your furnace is making a loud or unusual noise, you should call our HVAC company. Sometimes fixing the problem is simple and furnace replacement is unnecessary. However, this is not always the case. Either way, you will want to have the information you need to make a decision about furnace repair or furnace replacement as soon as possible — before your furnace stops working.
Kinds of Furnace
Presidential Heating & Air Conditioning works with a variety of furnaces, providing expert installation you can rely on.
There are two primary categories under which all modern gas furnaces fall: conventional furnaces and condenser furnaces. With a conventional furnace, natural gas is ferried to a burner located within a combustion chamber, where the gas is then mixed with air and ignited by a pilot light. A condensing furnace works similarly to a conventional furnace but has the added feature of a sealed combustion area, allowing a second heat exchanger to extract extra heat from the created water vapor.
Both conventional furnaces and condensing furnaces are available in three different stages, each determined by the operation of the blower and burner. These include:
- Single-stage Furnace: this single-setting blower and burner provides a continuous level of heated air
- Dual-stage Furnace: this dual stage furnace allows you to alternate heat generation between “high” and “low”
- Modulating Furnace: sophisticated controls that can be raised or lowered in small increments, allowing for the greatest control of temperature
Gas v. Electric Furnaces
When you opt for furnace replacement, you can use this opportunity to switch fuel sources. Gas furnaces, on average, don’t last as long as electric furnaces (15-20 years versus 15-30 years) and they cost more, but they are cheaper to operate and they heat your home more quickly than an electric furnace.
When you switch your fuel source from electric to gas, you must factor in the cost of bringing a gas line into your home if you don’t already have gas appliances. If you opt to switch from gas to electric, no extra work is necessary.
Selecting a New Furnace
Understanding the power and size of the furnace needed to best perform in your home is vital. A too-small furnace may run constantly, using more electricity than is required, dramatically increasing your energy costs. A too-large furnace may fluctuate constantly, performing short cycles and turning on and off frequently, excessively wearing internal components.
Natural gas is most commonly used to power a modern-day furnace: it is energy-efficient, decreasing your energy costs and decreasing its impact on the environment. Other options for your furnace include coal, electric, wood, and oil.
The efficiency of different models of furnaces are established by measuring the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, or AFUE. The AFUE measures how well fuel is converted to energy: the higher the rating, the more effectively the furnace functions. All furnaces must have an AFUE rating of 78 percent or higher. The different classes of furnace available for use today, based on AFUE, include:
- Low-efficiency Furnace AFUE Rating: 78%
- Mid-efficiency Furnace AFUE Rating: 80-82%
- High-efficiency Furnace AFUE Rating: can reach up to 97%. These models are also Energy-Star approved.
Presidential Heating & Air Conditioning wants to serve all of your furnace needs. If you feel furnace replacement and installation does not fulfill your furnace needs, please visit our furnace repair page to see how we can improve the efficiency, safety, and longevity, of your current furnace.
Top Local HVAC Contractor
When your heating system isn’t working right, whether it’s forced air, a boiler, heat pump, or geothermal system, call the expert HVAC technicians at Presidential Heating & Air Conditioning. We can get your heat back on again, or we can take care of furnace replacement for you. Rest assured that after we provide our recommendations, the decision about whether to repair or replace lies with you; we never sell you anything you don’t need. Call us whenever you need furnace maintenance, repair, or replacement.