While a furnace may seem like a one-size-fits-all appliance, this couldn’t be any further from the truth. True, no matter the size or layout of your home, your furnace serves one primary function: to keep you warm when the weather turns cold. Nevertheless, choosing the right furnace for your living space—and your lifestyle—involves myriad considerations. Below are the eight most important things to keep in mind when selecting a new furnace for your home.

Type. Both gas and electric furnaces are available, and the type you choose will depend largely on the availability of natural gas—or lack thereof—in your home. Gas furnaces are popular in areas where natural gas is ubiquitous—for instance, the Greater Kansas City Area. They also entail low operational costs, and are thus the most viable choice for many homeowners.

Size. In terms of output, and measured in BTUs or tons, the size of furnaces vary dramatically. A contractor can help you to identify the system size you require based on the square footage of your home.

Brand. Furnaces vary by brand, sporting different types of speed blowers and burners, different orientations (which refers to the direction in which the air enters and leaves the unit), and options such as programmable thermostats. This enables the homeowner to choose the brand with the features most suited to his or her particular space.

Ease of Maintenance. Among other forms of routine maintenance, furnaces require an air filter change every 1-2 months. This being the case, it is a good idea to select a model whose air filter is easy to access relative to where it will be positioned in the home.

AFUE rating. The AFUE, or annual fuel utilization efficiency, rating measures how efficiently a furnace operates, with higher ratings indicating higher efficiency. Higher furnace efficiency typically corresponds with lower heating costs, so a unit with a high AFUE is a wise choice, and especially for those who experience long, harsh winters.

Energy Star. Furnaces sporting an Energy Star label have been designated anywhere from 12-16 percent more efficient than baseline models. This likewise translates to a more efficient unit and reduced energy costs.

Warranty. It’s simple: the longer the warranty, the longer you are protected from paying out of pocket for repairs related to failure of the unit and its components. Read the warranty closely before purchasing a unit—this is, after all, part of your investment, as well.

Programmable Thermostat. If the unit you choose doesn’t come with a programmable thermostat, seriously consider installing one. By enabling you to pre-set your furnace to different temperatures at different times of day, a programmable thermostat can dramatically reduce your energy costs.

While it’s a good idea to keep all of these things in mind when hunting for a new furnace, the smartest thing you can do when making such a big investment is solicit the help of a professional. Your go-to team for new furnace installation in Kansas City, Cates Heating and Cooling can help you find the right unit for your home, as well as install your unit for you. At Cates we offer professional installation of all major furnace brands, including York, Lennox, Rheem, Trane, Carrier, and more, and we feel confident that we have the right unit for you.

Cates Heating and Cooling provides heating and cooling services to residences and businesses in the Greater Kansas City area. Don’t hesitate to contact Cates today for furnace and heating maintenance and repair, or to obtain a free estimate on new furnace installation in KC. It’s getting colder outside; let us help you stay warm!