Guide to Furnaces

Guide to Furnaces

Choosing the right replacement furnace for your home is essential in creating the comfortable atmosphere your family wants. While being comfortable is important, you should also consider energy efficiency and cost as priorities as well. Randazzo Heating, Cooling, and Fireplaces carries brand name, energy efficient furnaces, such as Lennox and York, and can service manufacturers such as Carrier, Trane, Bryant, Amana, Rheem, American Standard, Goodman and many more!

Although Electric and Oil Furnaces are still available, Forced Air Furnaces that utilize propane or natural gas, are generally the most efficient and economical method of heating. Forced Air Furnace Energy Efficiency is measured according to how efficiently each unit produces heat. This measurement is known as the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE. AFUE is determined by comparing the amount of fuel consumed to the amount of heat created. For example, an AFUE of 80 % means that 80 cents of each dollar is being converted into effective heat, while 20 cents is essentially wasted.

The amount of heat that is required to properly and efficiently heat your home to a comfortable level is measured by the term “BTU’s”. BTU’s, or British Thermal Units, can be defined as the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one (1) degree Fahrenheit. Though proper sizing and selection of a furnace for your home is based on many factors, the AFUE and BTU considerations are among the most important. In addition, furnace selection is affected by the five different types available:

FIVE TYPES OF FURNACES

Single-Stage
Single Stage Furnaces have one fan speed, and are available with an AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) of both 80% and 95%. These furnaces operate at 100% BTU Capacity at all times. These are the most common furnaces, but generally the least efficient and loudest on terms of operation.

Two-Stage Furnace
Two-Stage Furnaces have 2 fan speeds, and are available with an AFUE of both 80% and 92% (or greater) These furnaces operate at 60% BTU Capacity, and progress to 100% as necessary. Two-Stage Furnaces provide a more uniform heat distribution, and are generally a bit quieter than Single Stage Furnaces.

Two-Stage Variable Speed Furnace
Two-Stage Variable Speed Furnaces are available with an AFUE of both 80% and 95% (or greater) These furnaces operate at 60% BTU Capacity, and progress to 100% as necessary via a variable speed motor. Two-Stage Variable Speed Furnaces are much quieter than Single Stage or Two Stage Furnaces. When additional equipment is added to a furnace, 2 Stage Variable Speed Furnaces are the recommended choices for 2 and 3 story homes, and furnaces that also include Air Purification Systems or Heat Pumps.

Three-Stage Variable Speed Furnace
Three Stage Variable Speed Furnaces are available with an AFUE of both 80% and 95% (or greater) These furnaces operate at 60% BTU Capacity, and progress to 100% as necessary via a variable speed motor. Three-Stage Variable Speed Furnaces are much quieter than Single Stage or Two Stage Furnaces. When additional equipment is added to a furnace, Three-Stage Variable Speed Furnaces are the recommended choices for maximum efficiency in 2 and 3 story homes, and furnaces that also include Air Purification Systems or Heat Pumps.

Modulating Variable Speed Furnace
Modulating Variable Speed Furnaces are the very best furnace available in terms of operating efficiency, even distribution of heat, quiet operation, and comfort level. This type of furnace is also the preferred choice when additional equipment of any type is added to the furnace heating system. The range of AFUE levels varies from 80% to 98%

Besides AFUE standards, one very important thing to consider when purchasing a furnace is your family’s safety. Many problems can arise from faulty furnace parts and deterioration over time, so finding the highest quality furnace to begin with can save you time, money, and the headaches of worrying about it breaking down or malfunctioning at an inopportune time. At Randazzo Heating, Cooling, and Fireplaces, we can offer you the award-winning brands that lead the furnace industry.

Check out our Manufacturer’s page for more information on finding the right brand for your family, or Contact Us. We are happy to help answer any questions! You can also view our FAQ’s page to help answer some of your heating and cooling questions.