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Choosing a Furnace that is Best for You

Blankets to keep warm in cold weather

As the weather starts getting (and staying) cooler, your home heating system is vital to your comfort. If you need to replace your current heating system or are simply in the market for something different, it’s important that you understand the various options available. Like any other machine, type, size, and efficiency all affect the bottom line (both the initial purchase price and the monthly operating costs).

Below is a list of things that you should research before deciding on your next heating system.


All heating systems must meet federal efficiency regulations. Minimum efficiency furnaces must rate at least 80% AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency), and the current highest efficiency system is rated at 97% AFUE. This rating refers to the amount of energy that is lost up the flue, so a higher-rated system will require less natural gas to heat your home and ultimately lower your monthly utility bills.

System Type

Central cooling and heating systems are either a split system or a packaged system. Most homeowners have split systems, which are made up three components: outdoor unit, indoor unit, and air handler. In a packaged system, all components are within one unit, usually on the roof our next to the house; these systems typically include a natural gas furnace or electric heating coils. Another option is the ductless heating system, which comprises a small outdoor unit and several indoor blowers mounted to the walls.

Fuel Source

Depending on where your live and the current hook-up into your home, you have a variety of options concerning the fuel source. Gas furnaces (natural gas) are the most affordable option when temperatures are below freezing (something we don’t have to worry about in south Florida). Though larger, dirtier, and more expensive that natural gas furnaces, oil/propane furnaces are alternatives for those homes without natural gas lines, typically older buildings and homes. Electric furnaces are another option, but can significantly increase your monthly electric bill when in use. For south Florida homeowners, the most economical option is an electric heat pump, which also serves as the air conditioning system in the summer.

In addition to the above, other considerations include type of furnace blower, indoor air quality, furnace price, correct furnace sizing, warranty options, and rebates and incentives.

If you’re in the market for a new heating system, call American Air Cares today and have one of our experienced HVAC technicians help you determine the best system for your heating needs.


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