New Furnace Installation and Replacement in Westerville, OH
We proudly serve the Westerville, Ohio, community. If you're looking to buy a furnace or you're thinking about replacing your old one, we'll walk you through the steps to ensure you wind up with the very best fit for your household.
Westerville, Ohio, is home to Otterbein University, plus the vibrant Uptown Westerville and State Street.
It is also home to some of our employees at Fire & Ice, as well as numerous homeowners for whom we’ve had the privilege of taking care of their heating and cooling needs.
We usually don’t have bitterly cold winters in Central Ohio, but it’s always nice to be prepared for the worst. After all, Westerville suffered through a spell in 1994 when the mercury plunged to 24 degrees below zero, and Port Columbus reached -22F.
And those who remember the notorious blizzard of 1978 will never forget the extreme wind chill and deep snow drifts.
It’s at times like those that you appreciate having a working furnace. But over the years, we’ve heard from hundreds of customers in the middle of winter whose furnaces have let them down. In most cases, we offer next-day installation, but it’s still an inconvenience to have an appliance quit suddenly.
If your furnace is 15-20 years old (or even older!), it might be time to think about a new one. But there are so many questions you need to answer. What brand? What HVAC company? What features? How much do you want to spend? And so on.
This article will explore the options available for buying a new furnace. After all, we want you to be able to ask a contractor the right questions so that you wind up with HVAC equipment that suits your unique needs.
What Is a Fuel-Burning Furnace?
A fuel-burning furnace burns fossil fuel or carbon-based fuel and emits carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, or other greenhouse gases when combusted. Oil used to be the most common fuel source, but high prices have made most manufacturers and consumers switch to natural gas and propane.
A high-efficiency gas furnace offers a 90% AFUE and higher, with 95% AFUE a common percentage for a new gas-powered furnace. An 80% AFUE is considered a standard efficiency.
(AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. It’s a standard measurement of how efficiently a furnace converts energy from the fuel it uses into warm air. The higher the number, the greater the efficiency)
An 80% furnace converts roughly 80% of energy into heat. This process creates waste, which must be vented away from the home. Part of this waste is carbon monoxide, which is a dangerous, odorless, colorless gas that can be deadly. This is why during a regular maintenance visit or installation a technician will ensure that the gas is being properly vented.
A 90% furnace is more efficient through the presence of a secondary heat exchanger. The best furnaces reach an AFUE of 98.5%, which emits very little waste. It’s efficient, but it’s also the costliest type of furnace on the market.
Natural gas furnaces are popular, but unless there’s a gas line on the street and a junction from the street to your home, they’re impractical. That’s why you’ll still see oil and propane used.
What Is an Electric Furnace?
A different sort of unit is an electric furnace. It has no combustion, therefore it doesn’t create any waste. Technically, it’s 100% efficient. But there’s a catch.
Inside an electric furnace are heat strips. When the call comes for heat, electricity fires them up, and they soon glow red-hot. Imagine a toaster in which the coils do the work. That’s what it’s like.
Once hot, a blower sends the warm air out through the vents.
The downside of electric furnaces is that they use much more electricity than gas ones. For the environmentally conscious, they’re greener due to the lack of carbon monoxide produced, but they require a lot of amperages.
The next distinction between furnace types is called “stages”
What Is a Single-Stage Furnace?
A single-stage furnace is the most basic furnace. It’s either on or off. The benefit of the single-stage furnace is the price point. It’s going to be the cheapest option, and it will provide reliable heat.
The downside to the single-stage furnaces is going to be temperature swings. When it’s off, the temperature will fall below the set point on the thermometer. When it’s on, it will go above it. You wind up with temperature swings of two, three degrees.
A good fit for this furnace is a homeowner who doesn’t plan to be in their home for a long time. Maybe it’s a rental. Or they just want a good, solid, basic system at a reasonable price.
What’s a Two-Stage Furnace?
A two-stage furnace operates at two different capacities. When you need only a little bit of heat, it can function at 60% of its capacity. And then when it gets real cold, it’s going to go to 100%. At 60%, it runs for a longer period of time. It delivers better heat distribution, and it uses less energy than the single stage.
We find people that are a good fit for the two-stage furnace to be homeowners that plan on staying in their homes longer and don’t mind paying a higher price for the sake of comfort.
What’s a Modulating Furnace?
A modulating gas furnace operates anywhere from 40% to 100%, making adjustments in small increments. It provides only the amount of heat needed to keep the temperature steady at all times. This provides even temperatures, will save you money on your energy bills, and is the ultimate comfort system.
Homeowners that are a good fit for this machine plan to be in their home long-term. They don’t mind a higher initial investment for the benefits and features it provides. It is also the optimal unit for energy savings.
What Sized Furnace Do You Need in Westerville, OH?
Furnaces come in sizes from one-and-a-half tons to five. The size matters a lot, and only an experienced, thorough HVAC contractor should size it for you. If it’s too big, it warms the house too quickly, resulting in something called “short cycling.” Temperatures will be uneven from room to room, upstairs and down, and it’s rough on the equipment.
If the furnace is undersized, it will have a hard time keeping out the cold in the dead of winter. It will run and run and run. Your energy bills will climb, and your comfort will drop.
The right size is determined through a process called a Manual J load calculation. It is recommended by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America and the U.S. Department of Energy. It takes into account square footage, the number of windows and doors, the number of occupants, house type, and more.
It’s the best way to gauge the size you need. If your salesperson isn’t doing one before they offer a recommendation, get another opinion.
What Does a New Furnace Cost in Westerville, Ohio?
A new furnace replacement can cost between $3,000 - $7,600, depending on the size of your home, the efficiency of your new furnace, and the sophistication of the equipment. That price includes labor and permit fees. It includes single-stage, two-stage, and variable-speed furnaces, as well as each of those types in both standard and high-efficiency models.
RELATED: Complete HVAC Buyer’s Guide - free eBook!
Westerville Furnace Installation
A lot of the customers we talk to obsess about the brand of furnace they want. That’s OK. But we make certain to tell them that the brand - Carrier, Rheem, etc. - matters less than the company you’re working with. The right people will ensure that your furnace is installed correctly, will commission it correctly, and then check back in a week or two to make certain that everything is satisfactory.
A mediocre installer will stay long enough to get the thing running, and then you’re on your own. Technically, their job is done, so they don’t check how well everything is working.
The difference between a good installation and a bad one is huge. It can mean the difference between a unit that lasts 20 years and the same one lasting 10. It can affect repair bills, comfort, indoor air quality, and the headaches that come when you have a substandard HVAC system.
Read more: How Much Does a New Furnace Replacement Cost?
Buying a New Furnace in Westerville, OH
Fire & Ice believes in transparency. In our no-pressure sales calls, we tell you all the options upfront and always include the price. We have dozens of things we do that separate us from our competition. It doesn’t always make us the fastest or the cheapest; but it does make us the best for the long-term cost, efficiency, and comfort of our customers.
We’d love to earn your business, whether you live in Westerville or elsewhere in Central Ohio. Enter your zip code in the graphic below to see if you’re in our service area.
Fire & Ice Customer Reviews: Westerville, OH
Check out the testimonials below from satisfied Westerville residents who have worked with Fire & Ice.