Residential Plumbing & HVAC Experts

Do Your Research Before You Buy a New Furnace

A new furnace is a major investment and you need to make sure you select the right furnace for your home. Factors to consider include size, operational cost, and features, and you need a certified and competent contractor.

Furnace Size

It’s important to select the right size furnace; if it’s too small your home will be cold and if too large it will cycle frequently causing constant temperature swings. Get your contractor to do an energy evaluation of your home to calculate how much energy is needed to heat it. Don’t neglect to factor in the size of your ducts as they affect the volume of air the blower can distribute.

Efficiency versus Cost

More efficient furnaces use less gas but cost more. The minimum efficiency allowed is 78 percent, but furnaces are available today that achieve 97 percent. The best way to decide what’s best is to ask your contractor to calculate the annual running cost of various models and work out which is cheaper in the long run, taking into account estimated furnace life.

Alternatives Fuels to Consider

Furnaces can be fired by natural gas, propane, or oil and, unless you live where there are no gas mains, a gas-fired furnace is the cheapest to run. Another possibility that may be worth considering is a heat pump; they work well in milder climates but may need supplementary heating in colder areas.


It’s also worth considering features such as a new furnace with a variable heat output or variable speed blower. These reduce running costs and improve home comfort by tuning the output to demand with reduced noise levels. It’s also a good opportunity to consider filtration, as a high-efficiency filter will improve air quality but it needs to be matched to a suitably sized blower.

Choosing the Right Contractor

Use an approved and competent contractor and make sure you get multiple quotations to get the best price. Contact us at Sherlock Plumbing, Heating & Air for an evaluation; we serve the San Diego and Southern Riverside Counties and have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.