Three Considerations Before Installing A New Gas Furnace

If your old electric furnace is nearing the end of its life, then you may be considering an upgrade to a gas furnace. While newer electric furnaces are highly efficient, they generally cannot compare to modern high-efficiency gas furnaces. In fact, gas appliances are often much more energy-efficient than their electric counterparts in all parts of the home. Choosing to upgrade from electric to gas isn't always an easy decision, however, and energy efficiency is not the only factor that you must take into account. If gas is on your radar as an option for your furnace replacement, then keep these three key considerations in mind before making your decision.

Gas Line Availability

If you already use gas for other appliances, then running a line for a furnace is relatively cheap and straightforward. Likewise, hooking up a gas line to your home is generally inexpensive if a previous owner used gas or if gas was an option during your home's construction. Prices can increase if the gas company must bring a new line to your home, however, and this extra cost is worth keeping in mind since it can quickly run into the thousands.

Future Appliance Usage

Once a gas line has been installed in your home, adding other gas appliances becomes a more cost-effective option. Even if you are not imminently planning on replacing other appliances, consider the decisions that you may make in the future. Running a new gas line to your house may be too expensive if it will only be used to power your furnace, but the cost may become more acceptable if it is also likely to be used for future upgrades. Since gas ranges, ovens, and dryers all boast energy-efficiency advantages, bringing a line in for your furnace may be worthwhile to reduce your energy costs in the future.

Energy Efficiency

You are switching to gas heating in part to make your energy usage more efficient, so it is essential to choose a unit that will offer the most bang for your buck. Furnace efficiency is rated using a known as Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE. This rating tells you the percentage of fuel burned per year that is converted into heat for your home, with the remainder lost as waste. All gas furnaces are regulated to have an AFUE of at least 80%, while high-efficiency units boast AFUEs of 95% or higher. Choosing a high-efficiency unit will cost more initially, but it is likely to save you money over the life of the furnace.

It's hard to go wrong with a new gas furnace installation, but it will still pay to weigh your options and consider your gas line installation costs. If in doubt, consulting with a heating installation contractor is an excellent way to ensure that you choose a furnace that fits into your budget while offering a high level of energy efficiency.