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Buyer’s Guide to Heating Systems

Whether you need to decide between repairing or replacing your heating system, we’re here to help. We service all makes and models, and can help you to maintain and repair the system you have, or help you to replace it completely.


Photo of a high efficiency lennox gas furnace; it is shaped like a tall box, colored tan and branded with the lennox logo. The image also shows holes in the side, where the furnace connects to the rest of the hvac system in a home.

How to pick a new furnace

Choosing a new furnace can be overwhelming, especially when you feel as though you’ve been pushed into the decision to replace by an unexpected failure. Even in the most well-planned replacement scenario, there’s a lot consider. We’re here to help: our experts will guide you through the process, making sure that you’re armed with the information you need to choose the system best suited to you and your home.

To help get you started, our experts have compiled a list of the top 3 points you should consider when choosing a new heating system.

1. furnace settings & Speeds

Knowing the difference between a single, two stage, and variable furnace can help you make a much more informed buying decision.

Single Stage FURNACE

A single stage furnace has only one setting: high. Whenever the furnace is operating, it’s running at full speed regardless of outdoor temperature. There is an “on” and “off” stage with nothing in between. For this reason, single stage furnaces are seen as much less efficient.

Two Stage FURNACES

A two stage furnace operates much more efficiently than single stage furnaces. As its name suggests, two stage furnaces have two levels of output, low and high. The first stage (low) operates a majority of the time in most climates. The second stage only kicks in when it’s extremely cold outside: about 25% of the time if you live in Siouxland. Two stage furnaces are much quieter than single stage furnaces since they aren’t constantly running at 100% capacity. Also, carbon monoxide emissions are less which makes for a happier mother earth.

VARIABLE SPEED FURNACE

With the variable speed furnace, the “variable speed” refers to the blower motor in the furnace, rather than the number of stages your furnace goes through to provide heat. Simply put, the blower motor operates at different speeds to better control the flow of heated air in your home. It continuously adjusts blower settings to account for ductwork, furnace location, and dirty filters. This high tech beauty runs much more efficiently than a single stage or two stage furnace, allowing you to save major money and energy.

Best Investment!

Though initially more costly than single or two stage options, it takes as little as 5 years for a variable stage furnace to pay for itself in energy costs.

A variable speed furnace improves indoor air quality. Even when the furnace is not “on,” the motor can be constantly working to circulate air throughout your home. Air is continuously passing through your filter and being cleaned of contaminates such as bacteria, viruses, and mold spores. When paired with a Pure Air Technology air filtration system, the clean air benefits are exponentially greater.


2. Furnace Size Matters

But bigger is not always better!

Matching your home with the right sized equipment is no easy task, but CW Suter gets the job done right the first time with our HVAC load evaluation calculation. The competition uses an outdated “rule of thumb” method, a method that often leads to oversizing and over selling. Although most HVAC contractors know the benefits of right sizing, they can’t seem to break free of the “bigger is better” mentality. Suter does not share the “bigger is better” bias and instead uses a cutting edge calculation system to make sure your HVAC equipment is the right fit for your home.

Most people understand that bigger equipment means bigger initial cost. What most don’t know is that bigger equipment has a negative effect on efficiency, costing you even more money over the lifespan of your furnace, furnace, or heat pump. Bigger equipment costs more due to cycling losses. Think of it like stop-and-go traffic compared to highway driving. Stop-and-go traffic is harder on your car. Having your air conditioner or furnace constantly turn on and off is harder on the compressor. An oversized compressor will have a much shorter life than an accurately sized compressor.


3. Energy Ratings

This one is pretty easy, thanks to regulations that require the energy efficiency ratings and information to be listed by each manufacturer. It makes sense, too – No other system in your home will have a larger impact on your comfort or the size of your utility bill than your HVAC system. The heating efficiency rating for furnaces is Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, or AFUE. The higher the AFUE, the better the energy performance, and the more you save.


Bonus: Accessories, Add-ons, and IOT

The internet has changed everything, including the way we manage our homes. IOT, which stands for the Internet of Things, is a huge topic; Techopedia defines IOT as “a computing concept that describes the idea of everyday physical objects being connected to the internet and being able to identify themselves to other devices.” Basically, it refers to systems connecting to the internet to make our lives more comfortable, more convenient and more efficient.

Note: If you’re looking for a non-technical primer on why IOT matters, check out “What Is IoT? – A Simple Explanation of the Internet of Things

Hot Deal

Accessories

Check out our latest offerings in accessories and add-ons!

Using technology like sensors and programmatic learning, your heating and cooling system, thermostat, leak detectors, light bulbs – maybe even your fridge! – are all connected and use the internet to communicate, warn, and allow you to control your home.


Contact a Furnace Pro

We’re committed to helping you choose the heating system that’s right for you. Our Home Comfort Assessment is designed to find the best solution to fit your needs and your budget – while offering you the latest in COMFORT TECHNOLOGY.

Our SuterHeroes are Siouxland’s most trusted heating and cooling professionals, and there’s nothing we love more than making our customers happy and comfortable – Schedule an appointment to have one of our HVAC experts provide you with a FREE Home Comfort Assessment. Designed to help you identify and address your home’s needs, it’s the most effective method for fitting you with the right central air unit – for your home, family, lifestyle, and budget. Appointments can be made online or by phone.

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