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Fall Furnace Shopping Checklist – What I Need to Know Before I Purchase

Oh, the joys of shopping. Yes, furnace shopping. Furnace shopping is not something you typically just do on a whim, as you might with home décor or new clothes. Rather, shopping for a new furnace is driven by need. Either you know your furnace only has a limited amount of time left (pat your own back for being proactive) or it’s already stopped working. Furnace shopping can be tedious and overwhelming but do your homework before you start your search and your shopping experience will be a lot less painful.

Energy Source Choices in Area

Know which type of energy source your home uses for its heating needs. While most people will replace a furnace with the same type of energy source already used, it is possible to change energy sources for your home. Speak to one of the experts at R & B Climate Control to determine if this is even possible.  There could factors that prevent you from changing from electric to gas for example.  Also, we can help you determine if it makes financial sense to do so.

Gas furnaces are very common and economical in the Fort Mill, Rock Hill, and Indian Land areas. The initial cost of a gas furnace can be more expensive than an electric furnace. Depending upon your home and utility provider natural gas may be less expensive than electricity, or it could be the other way around. Many factors play a role into which fuel source is more efficient to operate; such as, furnace AFUE efficiency, natural gas vs. propane, and SEER and HSPF rating of a heat pump. Typically, when using electric as your heat source, we are talking about a heat pump.  This type of system uses only electricity to heat and cool your home.

Size is Critical When Purchasing a New Furnace

Consumers typically fall into two categories when it comes to choosing a size for their furnace. Some want a larger furnace believing that bigger is better, and others want a smaller furnace because they believe bigger furnaces are just a marketing ploy. Both categories of consumers are wrong. 

If you choose a furnace that is too small, your furnace will struggle to warm your home and keep you comfortable. If your furnace is too big, then it will cycle on and off and cause unnecessary wear and tear to your heating system. 

The size furnace you choose should be all about your home and heating needs. The best way to determine the size you need is to have a certified HVAC technician from R & B Climate Control prepare a load calculation. Not only will they measure your square footage but they also take into account direct sources of sunlight and shady areas, the number of windows in your home, and the amount of insulation in your home. 


An AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) is a type of percent rating that indicates how much of the energy heats your home and how much is wasted. For example, if the rating is 80%, then 80% of the energy is used in your home, while 20% is wasted. If the rating is 90%, then 90% goes toward heating your home and 10% is wasted. Keep in mind, you pay for 100%. The rating lets you know what is wasted and what your home will actually use. 

A furnace that has an 80% rating is less expensive but you will see larger savings over the long run with the 90% furnace. Research which is better for you and your budget, the 80% or the 90% furnace, and you should also speak to a qualified professional at R &B Climate to help you make a decision.

Remember the Warranty is Important

You’ll also want to research which furnaces offer the best warranties. Look for manufacturer warranties with the most coverage, and you can consult an expert at R & B about the addition of an extended warranty for your new heating system. And, as always remember to keep to a regular maintenance schedule, to ensure you keep your heating system’s warranty valid.

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