If you live in a cold climate, having a reliable and efficient gas furnace is crucial to keep your home comfortable and warm throughout the winter months. However, with numerous options available in the market, choosing the best gas furnace can be overwhelming. In this article, we’ll guide you through the factors you need to consider when purchasing a gas furnace and provide you with a comprehensive review of the top models available in the market.
When shopping for a gas furnace, it’s essential to consider the size of your home, your budget, and your heating needs. You should also factor in the furnace’s efficiency rating, which measures how effectively the unit converts fuel into heat. A high-efficiency furnace can save you a lot of money on energy costs in the long run.
Types of Gas Furnaces
There are three types of gas furnaces: single-stage, two-stage, and modulating. Each type of furnace operates differently and has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Single-Stage Gas Furnace
A single-stage furnace has only one setting, which means it’s either on or off. This type of furnace is the most affordable and straightforward option, making it a popular choice among homeowners. However, it’s also the least energy-efficient and can be noisy.
Two-Stage Gas Furnace
A two-stage furnace has two settings, low and high. It operates on low most of the time and switches to high only when necessary, making it a more efficient option. This type of furnace is also quieter and provides more consistent heating than a single-stage furnace. However, it’s more expensive than a single-stage furnace.
Keep reading for more information on modulating gas furnaces and their differences.
Efficiency ratings are a crucial factor to consider when purchasing a gas furnace. A furnace’s efficiency rating measures how effectively it converts fuel into heat. The higher the rating, the more efficient the furnace is, and the less energy it consumes.
AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency)
AFUE is the most common efficiency rating used for gas furnaces. It measures the amount of fuel a furnace converts into heat over a year. A furnace with a 90% AFUE rating means that it can convert 90% of the fuel it consumes into heat. The remaining 10% is lost through the exhaust system.
HSPF (Heating Season Performance Factor)
HSPF measures the efficiency of a furnace’s heat pump during the heating season. This rating is crucial if you’re using a furnace with a heat pump. The higher the HSPF rating, the more efficient the furnace is at heating your home during the winter.
Size and Capacity
Choosing the right size and capacity for your gas furnace is crucial for your home’s comfort and energy efficiency. An undersized furnace will struggle to heat your home, while an oversized furnace will waste energy and increase your energy bills.
Importance of Proper Sizing
A professional HVAC contractor should assess your home’s size, layout, and insulation to determine the appropriate size and capacity of the furnace you need. An accurate sizing calculation ensures that your furnace operates efficiently and provides consistent heating throughout your home.
Factors to Consider When Determining Size and Capacity
Several factors can determine the size and capacity of the furnace you need. These include your home’s square footage, the number of rooms, the ceiling height, the insulation levels, and the climate in your area. It’s essential to provide your HVAC contractor with accurate information to ensure that they size your furnace correctly.
Brand and Model
When it comes to selecting a gas furnace, choosing the right brand and model is critical. Some of the most popular gas furnace brands in the market include Carrier, Goodman, Lennox, Rheem, and Trane. Each brand offers a range of models that vary in size, efficiency, and price.
To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compared some of the top gas furnace models available in the market.
Carrier Infinity 98 Gas Furnace
The Carrier Infinity 98 is a modulating gas furnace, which means it operates at varying levels of heat output based on the temperature needs. It boasts an impressive AFUE rating of up to 98.5%, making it one of the most energy-efficient gas furnaces available. Additionally, it has a quiet operation, making it a great option for homes that require minimal noise pollution.
Goodman GMVC96 Gas Furnace
The Goodman GMVC96 is a two-stage gas furnace that offers a high AFUE rating of up to 96%. It’s also equipped with a variable-speed motor, which allows for a quieter operation and more consistent heating. The furnace comes with a lifetime heat exchanger limited warranty, making it a reliable and long-lasting option.
Lennox SL280V Gas Furnace
The Lennox SL280V is a two-stage gas furnace that offers an AFUE rating of up to 80%. It comes equipped with a variable-speed motor, which ensures quiet operation and efficient heating. The furnace also has a durable stainless steel secondary heat exchanger, which allows for more efficient heat transfer.
Cost and Maintenance
The initial cost of buying a gas furnace varies depending on the type, size, and brand of the furnace. A single-stage gas furnace is the most affordable option, with prices ranging from $1,500 to $3,000. A two-stage gas furnace is slightly more expensive, with prices ranging from $2,500 to $5,000. A modulating gas furnace is the most expensive, with prices ranging from $3,500 to $7,500.
Long-term maintenance costs are also an essential factor to consider when purchasing a gas furnace. Routine maintenance, such as filter replacements and cleaning, can cost around $100 to $150 per year. However, more significant repairs, such as replacing the heat exchanger, can cost up to $1,500 or more. It’s essential to factor in these costs when budgeting for a gas furnace.
In conclusion, choosing the right gas furnace can be a daunting task. However, by considering the furnace’s efficiency rating, size, brand, and maintenance costs, you can make an informed decision. After thorough research, we’ve concluded that the Carrier Infinity 98 Gas Furnace is the best option for homeowners seeking an energy-efficient and reliable gas furnace. At Mighty Files, we believe that investing in a high-quality gas furnace is crucial to maintaining a comfortable and warm home during the winter months.