You own an old home, so you’re used to having to update different home systems and to dealing with the frustrations, and charms, of an aged home. You probably will not be surprised to hear that picking out a furnace for and installing HVAC in an old home has its challenges. Older homes were not designed for modern more energy-efficient HVAC systems. Here’s what you need to consider when buying a new furnace for an old home.
Why Replace Old Furnaces?
Installing new HVAC in an old home is a hassle, so why bother? The furnaces in old homes are sometimes very inefficient, using as little as 60% of the energy they consume for heat. The rest is lost to inefficiencies and exhaust. Compare that to modern furnaces which might transfer 97% of the energy they use directly into heat. This is a much more efficient option that helps you use less energy and helps reduce your utilities.
When choosing a furnace, you have the option between an electric and gas furnace. Gas furnaces are generally less expensive to run because gas is usually cheaper than electricity although your specific energy costs will come into play. If your old home is already equipped for gas, as many are, you will likely want to stick with that. Many old homes also cannot handle the larger electrical draw of modern appliances and entertainment systems and it may not be wise to add to that with a furnace.
Changes to the Ducting
Unfortunately, the cost to install an HVAC system in an old home may be higher than in a new home, just because your HVAC professional may need to make substantial changes to the duct system. In fact, your home may not even have a duct system. This is especially true of homes that use radiators or other radiant heat systems.
Installing ducts isn’t just costly, it can often take up too much room in your old home’s walls. That is why you may want to consider ductless heating options instead of getting a furnace. Ductless mini-split heaters and air conditioners are simpler to install and don’t require air ducts.
Lowering Your Monthly Costs
When buying a new furnace for an old home you also want to consider how doing so will impact your monthly costs. We’ve already discussed how buying a new high-efficiency furnace can save you substantially in energy costs and therefore in your utility bills. However, you should also think about how a new furnace will require fewer repairs and less serious repairs when it does, meaning that you will save money on repair costs as well.
As always, when choosing a new furnace you also want to consider if your HVAC technician offers a maintenance plan with it. Getting regular maintenance at a reasonable price will help you get a longer life out of the furnace and maximize the value of your investment.