Everything you Need to Know About Gas Furnace Replacement

is furnace working

Whether your system is working less efficiently or has stopped working, you may feel that a gas furnace replacement may become a necessity sooner rather than later. While the average cost for gas furnace replacement depends on your installation needs, the brand, and the type of furnace, it can often save you money in the long run if your current one runs less efficiently. Read on to learn more about how a gas furnace operates, when it may be time to get a replacement, and what you can expect when the time comes. Or, if you are ready to order your furnace replacement now, contact Superior Home Supplies to find out more about our available models.

What is a gas furnace?

A gas furnace is a heating system that uses a series of flames to warm the air and distribute it throughout your home to make your home a comfortable temperature. The system will consist of burners that heat the air and a heat exchanger that will separate the air you breathe and the air that will be vented out of your home.

What does a furnace do?

Furnaces will heat air and then distribute that heated air throughout your home via a series of air ducts and returns. They are controlled by a central thermostat which will allow you to set desired temperatures. When the temperature drops below what is set, the heater will turn on and shut off when the desired temperature is achieved.

Does every home have a furnace?

Not all homes have furnaces, but most will have some form of heating. Even in the warmer states, winter temperatures can drop low enough that a heating system is needed. Some areas may utilize heat pumps which work well in most climates, but most homes in northern climates will have a natural gas furnace for heating.

Where is the furnace in my house?

In most homes, your furnace will be stored in the basement of your home or a utility closet toward the center of your home. They are often next to other appliances in the home, such as the water heater. In some cases, the furnace is located in the attic or crawl space in homes with no basements.

What does a furnace in a house look like?

Most furnaces will look simple from the outside and look like a cabinet with ductwork coming out of them. In some cases, they may be attached to whole-house humidifiers.

What are the characteristics of a gas furnace?

When deciding which furnace will work best in your home, it is essential to consider the various characteristics of a gas furnace and which ones will provide you with what you are looking for in your heating system. One thing to consider is how you wish the burner and blowers to operate.

With a single-stage system, the burner and blower will simply have the “on” stage. With a dual-stage or two-stage furnace, the burner flame will have a high and low setting, depending on the amount of heat required. A newer type of system is modulating furnaces which will allow fine adjustments to both burner settings and blower settings to help keep a more consistent room temperature.

Another characteristic of a gas furnace to consider is the efficiency rating or AFUE rating. The AFUE rating is the percentage of fuel the system uses toward heating your home. Low-efficiency furnaces have AFUE ratings of around 78% and are typically considered older furnaces, as most newer models are above this range. Mid-efficiency systems will have ratings in the 80% range, and high-efficiency furnaces are between 90 and 98%.

How do I know if I have a furnace?

If you have heat in your home, you will likely have a furnace, boiler, or heat pump. You will know that your home has a gas furnace if it only provides the heat in your home, it uses gas for fuel, and the heated air is delivered through ductwork.

Does a gas furnace need electricity?

While the primary energy source for a gas furnace is natural gas, it requires a small amount of electricity to operate. The electricity will not only allow the thermostat to trigger the system but also turn the system on and start igniting the gas to heat the air.

How do I know if the furnace is working?

Is the furnace working? This may be a common question, especially if you have one with a quiet operation. There are a few ways to know that your furnace is working and working correctly. With a forced-air gas furnace, you will likely hear the heated air moving through the ductwork and should be able to feel warm air coming out of the vents. If you are by the system, you will know that the furnace is working if you see a bright blue flame. If the flame is more yellowish, it could be a sign that your gas is not burning completely, and the system may falter. Your system may be working but not as well if the air from the vents is cool or if you notice that your utility bills are higher than usual.

Repair vs. replacing my gas furnace

If you are faced with an expensive repair, you may ask yourself if it is worth the cost to replace the system or if it would be the better option to simply replace the unit. While it is always important to consider your budget, you will also want to consider how high your energy bills have been and whether or not a more efficient system will save you money.

There are also a few other considerations when deciding whether to repair or replace your current system. Below are some instances when replacing your system is a better option than repairing it.

  • You suspect a carbon monoxide leak: If the problem with your system is possibly leaking carbon dioxide, replacing it with a new system would be necessary for safety reasons.
  • Your furnace is more than ten years old: If it has passed the ten-year mark, it has likely lost some efficiency and is in the latter half of its longevity.
  • Your system is extremely noisy: Loud and aggressive noises from your system are usually signs of loose or damaged parts that may be expensive to fix or replace.
  • Your system needs frequent repairs: If your repairs cost more than 30% of what a new system would be, or you have to have your system frequently repaired, a replacement may be the better option.
  • The temperature in your home is inconsistent: If your system is heating your home unevenly or taking longer than usual to warm it, your system is not functioning as it should be.
  • Your energy bills are skyrocketing: If you have noticed that your energy bills are rising and the temperature has remained consistent with previous years, your system is no longer working as efficiently as it should.

While gas furnace replacement may be the best option in many situations, there are some cases when repairing your furnace may be more economical. You may want to consider repair if:

  • You are not going to be in your home much longer: If you plan to sell your home soon, you will likely not recoup your cost in energy savings by the time you move.
  • The repairs are minor: Even if you have an older system, if the repairs are minimal and you haven’t had to repair your system often, it may be worth the effort to nurse it along a few more years.
  • Gas furnace replacement costs are out of your budget: Even if it were wise to have a new gas furnace installed, if you can’t safely work it into your budget, it would be safer to have it repaired for now.
  • The problem is with your ductwork, not your furnace: Noises are not always a result of issues with your furnace. Sometimes loud noises and even energy loss may have to do with cracks or leaks in your ductwork and may have nothing to do with your furnace.

Where is my furnace filter located?

There are two sides to your furnace. One side is known as the heated air side, and the other is the cold air return side. The air travels through the heat exchanger on the heated air side before moving onto the vents. On the other side, the air comes back in from home through the return ducts, passing through the filter for the process to begin again. Homeowners will primarily need to know where the cold air return side on their unit is, as this is where the filter is. The filter will slide into this side, with the arrows on the filter following the proper air flow direction.

What is the life expectancy of a gas furnace?

When considering gas furnace replacement, you may wonder exactly how long your current system should last. While the longevity of your system will likely depend on the characteristics of a gas furnace, on average, you can expect it to last between 15 and 20 years if well-maintained. This would include having it regularly serviced and repaired when needed.

What does it cost to install a gas furnace replacement?

Gas furnace replacement will run most homeowners an average of $2,200, though it can run as low as $1,500 to as high as $10,000. The price will depend on whether you need to include furnace installation costs or if you plan to do it on your own. Other factors that can affect the price include the brand, the size, the type of furnace, and the labor cost your HVAC contractor charges.

What is the best furnace for my home?

If you are unsure if the furnace is working, or if you know that a gas furnace replacement is necessary, you will next need to determine which type of furnace is best for your home depending on the characteristics of the gas furnace you desire. Some characteristics of a gas furnace that will need to be taken into consideration include how many stages you wish the system to be as well as the AFUE rating. When settling on a gas furnace replacement, an AFUE rating can be critical as a more efficient system means lower costs on your energy bills. You also want to consider whether a gas furnace is your best option or whether other heating options should be considered.

How does a gas furnace compare to a heat pump?

Is the furnace working? If that is a question you find yourself asking, you may wonder if a gas furnace replacement is the best option based on the characteristics of a gas furnace or if a different heating option would be best, such as a heat pump. To help make your decision, it is crucial to consider both options' pros and cons to find which one will best suit your needs.

characteristics of gas furnace

Pros of a gas furnace

  • They can provide warm air rapidly, even in areas with colder temperatures.
  • Most newer models are highly efficient, providing even heating and lower energy costs.
  • They can easily be paired with a heat pump or air conditioning system to provide year-round temperature control.

Cons of a Gas furnace

  • Installing a new furnace can be more expensive than other options, especially if you do not currently have ductwork.
  • They do have a risk of carbon monoxide if there is a leak in the gas line, though this rarely occurs with proper maintenance.
  • Their life span is shorter than an electric furnace which can usually last up to 30 years with proper maintenance.

Pros of a heat pump

  • Heat pumps are extremely energy efficient and can provide significant energy savings in mild to moderate climates.
  • They can provide heating and cooling for the home in one unit if you live in an area with more temperate weather.
  • Heat pumps require less maintenance than a gas furnace, and the maintenance is easy enough to do DIY.

Cons of a heat pump

  • Costs can be higher upfront, especially if you are an option for a geothermal heat pump over an air source heat pump.
  • They are designed for temperate climates and may not efficiently heat a home in extreme cold climates.

What is the difference between a furnace and a boiler?

When considering a gas furnace replacement, you may also want to compare the differences between a boiler and a gas furnace. Boilers use water to heat your home. The water will be heated in the boiler and either turned into steam to be pushed out by radiators or pushed through pipes, such as with radiant flooring heating systems. They are ideal for homes without ductwork and require little maintenance.

Gas furnaces will draw air into a blower, where it will be heated and then pushed out into the room via ductwork. They are highly efficient, connect to installed ductwork, and can be paired with a heat pump or air conditioning for year-round temperature control. Gas furnace installation can be high if you don’t have ductwork.

What is a high-efficiency furnace?

When determining the best gas furnace replacement for your home, it is worth considering a furnace which can save you a significant amount of money on your monthly utility bills. A high-efficiency furnace will have an annual fuel utilization efficiency rating between 90% and 98.5%. This measurement translates to how much fuel is used to produce the heat.

Find all your home heating needs at Superior Home Supplies

If you have to ask yourself, is the furnace working? It may be time to consider upgrading your HVAC system with a gas furnace replacement. No matter what characteristics of gas furnace you are looking for, Superior Home Supplies has the model to suit your needs. We offer models from the best brands in the business, and our experienced staff is ready and waiting to answer any of your HVAC questions. Contact us today to find the perfect gas furnace for your home.

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