While there are many forms of home heating available these days, gas is still the most common type. But common doesn’t mean basic. Beyond producing steady, reliable heat, a well-maintained gas furnace can last for decades. And when it comes time to replace yours, the latest models are new and improved; today’s furnaces are more efficient than ever before.
If you’re ready to upgrade your current model, or just warming up to the idea of a gas furnace in your home, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here, YORK® Product Manager Tom Tasker and Dan DiClerico, Director of the Home Improvement & Outdoor Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, share everything you need to know.
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Gas furnaces can help you save money
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in your home, typically making up about 29% of your utility bill. To ease the pain of that percentage, consider the fact that heating with natural gas costs just less than half of heating with electricity.
It can also be more efficient; gas furnaces like the YP9C 98% Modulating Gas Furnace from YORK® can heat your home faster. “It’s simply a matter of how hot the air is that comes out of your registers,” Tasker explains. “For electric heaters, that temperature is about 96 degrees. For a gas furnace, the temperature coming out of the register is between 120 and 140 degrees.”
YORK® furnaces are designed to be precise when it comes to hitting your comfort zone. “YP9C furnaces are one of the only true modulating furnaces on the market, modulating from 35% to 100% in 1% increments depending on the demand of the home at the time,” Tasker says. “This means that the homeowner gets exactly the amount of heat they need when they need it, whether it’s a cool fall morning or the coldest night of the year.”
A qualified contractor can help you find the best furnace for your home
With output as high as 130,000 BTUh, most single-family homes can be heated by one YP9C furnace, but choosing the right size is crucial. “If it’s too small, it won’t generate enough heat for the home,” DiClerico explains. “If it’s too big, it will cycle on and off more frequently, which is inefficient and puts extra wear and tear on the system.”
Both DiClerico and Tasker highly suggest hiring a reliable contractor who will do all the necessary load calculations based on the latest industry standards. When sizing your furnace, they’ll consider the climate, number of windows, amount of insulation, square footage, number of floors and more variables.
Gas furnaces are super safe when maintained properly and serviced regularly
Furnaces have safety devices that ensure they’ll always operate properly, but yearly maintenance is recommended to keep them in optimal condition.
“The best thing a homeowner can do is change the filters on a regular basis,” Tasker says. “Your service professional will clean the blower motor, evaporator coil, and flame sensor, and check for fault codes or other conditions to ensure that your furnace is ready to keep you warm through the winter.”
And now would be a great time to schedule a visit. “Furnace technicians tend to be busiest during the winter, when heating equipment fails,” DiClerico explains. “Take advantage of their downtime by scheduling your tune-up during the summer.”
If you have gas-burning appliances, like a furnace, stove, generator or water heater, it’s also important to place working carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. “For maximum protection, install a carbon monoxide detector on each living level, in the basement, and near (but not inside) an attached garage,” DiClerico advises.
Once you’ve done that, you can rest easy — especially because YORK® furnaces are one of the quietest options available.