Going Furnace Shopping? Here’s What to Look For

Going Furnace Shopping? Here’s What to Look For

When it’s time for furnace shopping, all the brands, models, features, costs, and jargon you have to sort through can make you feel overwhelmed. Knowing the essential features to look for makes the process much easier. Here’s a quick buying guide to help you spend your money on the right furnace.


The AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating is the measurement for the fuel efficiency of a furnace. It ranges from 80% to 98.5%. The percentage shows the ratio of the system’s annual fuel that’s converted to usable heat. A higher rating indicates better furnace efficiency.

If you want to heat your home with minimal environmental impact, then the best furnace efficiency to choose is the highest you can afford. If cost-effectiveness is your priority, you’ll need to get a furnace with an AFUE level that balances system costs and energy costs in your area. For Central New Jersey, 90% to 93% AFUE is the level that strikes that balance.


Most furnace models are made in sizes running from 40,000 to 120,000 Btu (British thermal units). The specifications of your furnace should fit your home’s needs. A system that’s too big or too small won’t heat your home efficiently and may cause comfort problems.

To find a system that is an exact fit for your house, have an experienced HVAC contractor calculate your heating requirements based on an industry standard, such as the Manual J load calculation. This calculation will consider several factors, such as the climate zone and design of your home.


Furnaces that offer basic performance come with single-speed blowers and single-stage gas valves. They are louder in their operation and cause temperature fluctuations, as well as leave some air unheated at the start and end of the furnace cycle.

For better temperature balance and quieter heating, go for furnaces with two-stage or variable-capacity gas valves and variable-speed blowers.

If you follow these tips, you’ll get a furnace that will improve your comfort, save more energy dollars, and pollute the environment less. For more tips on furnace shopping, contact Aggressive Mechanical Contractors. We’ve proudly served residents in Monmouth and Ocean counties with a variety of heating services since 1948.

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