Are you replacing your old or inefficient gas furnace? The furnace is the heart of a heating system; therefore, it can impact the system's performance and energy efficiency. With many options on the market today, buying the right furnace for your home can be a daunting process. However, by identifying the essential features, you can narrow down your choices and make an informed purchase. With this in mind, here are four critical features to prioritize as you shop for a gas furnace.

High AFUE Rating

The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating is used to determine the energy efficiency of furnaces. This rating shows the heat output of the furnace against the total energy consumed. Therefore, a furnace with an AFUE rating of 80% means the appliance converts 80% of the energy consumed into heat. The other 20% escapes into the atmosphere.

The advisable AFUE rating for a residential gas furnace is around 90%. This rating means that only 10% of the energy used isn't converted into heat. Anything lower than this means a furnace will consume more power to heat a home. Such a system can significantly increase your home's energy bill. A high AFUE rating translates into lower heating costs. 

Variable Speed Blower

Traditional furnaces come with only one blower speed, which runs on high. Regardless of the demand, the furnace operates at maximum speed and consumes a lot of power. You can remedy this by investing in a variable speed blower furnace. This appliance comes with at least two blower speeds. When less heat is needed, the furnace runs on low. This feature reduces energy wastage. Also, most products with variable speed blowers make less noise than the single-speed models.

Sealed Combustion

A gas furnace uses natural gas or propane to heat a home. For heating to occur, the fuel is ignited in the combustion chamber. During this process, the furnace may produce carbon monoxide (CO), an odorless yet poisonous gas. In older furnaces, the combustion chamber is open to the rest of the home. This means that carbon monoxide can find its way to the rest of the house. If you don't have a CO detector, invest in a sealed combustion furnace.

With this kind of furnace, the combustion chamber is sealed off from the rest of the home. The system features two pipes: one draws in air for the combustion process, and the other releases exhaust to the outside. The chamber is sealed off from the house and cannot leak carbon monoxide to the living spaces.

When investing in a new furnace, consider its energy efficiency, indoor comfort, and safety. As you replace our old system, don't skimp on the above features! For more information about furnace replacement, contact a local HVAC contractor.