Angie's List- Buying a Furnace

Reported by: Katherine Rowe
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Updated: 10/21/2013 3:54 am
If you need to replace your furnace, now may be a good time. Tax credits for qualifying products run out at the end of this year. 
HVAC Contractor Kris Conover tells Angie's List that the average life span of a heating and cooling system is between 12 and 18 years. 
If your furnace is breaking down more often or your system is not keeping a set temperature, you may need a new system. 
If it is time to replace your furnace, there are some things you should consider. The unit should be correctly sized to operate properly and efficiently. Also, the price goes up with the efficiency rating. 
The efficiency rating for your heating systems helps to determine how much it will cost you to heat your home. The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, or AFUE, tells you how much heat the furnace will produce compared to the amount of energy required to produce the heat.
"For instance a 95 percent, if you're spending a dollar on heating, it's providing you 95 cents of output," Conover said. "One of the most efficient furnaces you could possibly get would be a 95 percent AFUE."
Angie Hicks, the creator of Angie's List, said that even if you have a brand new furnace, it is important to perform regular maintenance. 
"A great idea is to check your furnace filter once a month," Hicks said. "An easy way to do that is check in when you paying your utilities bills each month. A clean air filter is going to help your furnace run more efficiently and help you air quality.”
If your air conditioner is showing its age, it may be a good idea to replace your furnace and air conditioning unit at the same time. You could see savings because the installation crew is already on site. Some manufacturers may also offer total system rebates when you replace both your air and furnace
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