Grandview Heights, Ohio, Furnace Installation and Replacement Services
We proudly serve the community of Grandview Heights, OH. Read this article before you buy to see what to look for in your next furnace.
Destinationgrandview.org describes Grandview Heights (or just plain “Grandview”) as a “hub of creativity, culture, and out-of-the-ordinary experiences. Grandview offers an array of guided food and drink tasting tours, unique regional events, demos, classes, art galleries, consignment shops, a working distillery, the nation’s oldest operating single-screen theater, and much more.”
It’s also the home of numerous satisfied Fire & Ice customers who have treated us well, and for whom we’ve had the pleasure of taking care of their heating and cooling needs.
Fire & Ice Customer Reviews: Grandview Heights, OH
The positive reactions of our customers are among the greatest assets we have as a company. See what a couple of satisfied customers had to say about their Fire & Ice experience.
“What an amazing experience. We have been totally impressed with Fire & Ice...from the sales professional (Bryan) to the installation crew (Bryan, Ethan, and Allante), we have had a fantastic experience! Our thanks to all.”- David Wells
“They were amazing with the install, and they even worked to keep the old furnace running when it was freezing outside. I cannot recommend them enough! The furnace decided to stop working at the worst possible time in our lives, and Fire & Ice came in and worked hard to keep our family comfortable during a difficult time. We already knew that we had to get our old furnace replaced and they came in and made sure the new furnace fit our criteria and budget as well as cleaned up after the install. They even talked me down from purchasing a more expensive solution. That means this company really has integrity. I would recommend them in a heartbeat!” - Sharad Gadhiya
Furnace Installation and Replacement
If you’re a typical homeowner in Grandview Heights or elsewhere in Central Ohio, you haven’t bought a new furnace lately. Therefore, you have no idea what options there are when it comes to a new one, or what factors go into the price.
If you are among those people, don’t worry. If you aren’t aware of the price range, you’re not alone. It’s not something you do often. And for some first-time home buyers, the process is totally foreign.
There’s a lot that goes into pricing, and much of it isn’t obvious. We’re here to help explain the technology that makes some models much more expensive than others, and what that technology can mean for comfort and indoor air quality.
How Does a Gas Furnace Work?
A gas furnace system’s main parts are the thermostat, the gas valves, the burners, a heat exchanger (sometimes more than one), a blower, ductwork, and ventilation systems.
Air travels through return ducts and is sent to your furnace. It passes through the air filter, located very near the furnace, which collects particulates from the air.
On the cue from the thermostat, your furnace starts its heating process. If you have an old system, there is a pilot that is always lit, and this would provide the initial spark for the furnace’s burners, which are fueled by natural gas, propane, or even heating oil.
There are also systems with a direct ignition spark, which is like an automobile’s spark plug. Modern heating systems have hot surface ignition. The flames create heat.
A motor pushes heat from the burners through to the metal heat exchanger. The heat circulates through the looped tubes of the heat exchanger. As the heat circulates through the heat exchanger, then the blower motor and fan move that heat through the furnace system, out of the supply ducts, and into your home.
How Does an Electric Furnace Work?
An electric furnace consists of an air handler that has heating coils added to it (sometimes called a heat package or heat strips). The coils glow red when they’re hot. The blower fan then forces the heat through the ductwork.
Many times, these units are used in conjunction with electric heat pumps. It’s called “emergency” or “auxiliary” heat. When the temperature drops to the point that the heat pump can’t produce enough heat, the furnace will take over. It takes a lot of electricity to make this happen, however, as owners of electric furnaces will attest. Your energy bill will increase dramatically if they are used a lot.
Sizing Your Residential Furnace in Grandview Heights
When a sales professional visits your home, they should perform a Manual J load calculation to determine the capacity (or “size”) needed for a furnace to heat adequately. The industry standards for these calculations are set by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). At Fire & Ice Heating and Air Conditioning, we always perform a load calculation to ensure accurate sizing of your system. (The same calculation is used for air conditioners, electric furnaces, and heat pumps.)
The square footage of your house matters, but so do things such as the number of windows and doors, the thickness of insulation, the presence of an attic or basement, as well as dozens of other factors.
RELATED: Sizing Your Air Conditioner, Heat Pump, and Furnace
As expected, larger systems tend to cost more. More importantly, the right size matters a lot. We see lots of examples of incorrectly-sized units when we’re in the field. Furnace systems that are too small cause bloated energy bills and comfort concerns; on the coldest of days, they won’t be up to the job.
And if it’s too big, it will turn on and off too often. This will create uneven temperatures, a shortened lifespan for the furnace, and an unnecessarily high fuel bill.
Furnace Efficiency and Cost
For furnaces, the measuring stick is its Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). It’s a measure of how much energy put into the unit is turned into heat. An AFUE of 80%, for example, means that 80% of the fuel in the system is converted to heat. The remaining 20% is vented through the system’s exhaust.
The National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987 established that new gas furnaces must be at least 78% efficient to stave off inefficient energy use. Anything less than 90% is considered to be standard efficiency. 90% and up is high efficiency. The highest AFUE furnace we carry is a Carrier 59MN7, which is rated at 98.5%.
As furnaces age, their efficiency will drop.
(And, to be fair, electric furnaces are 100% efficient. There is no waste. But the way they produce heat is so cost-inefficient, we in the HVAC service industry rarely label them as complete efficiency.
RELATED: How Efficient Is My Furnace? A Full Analysis
While efficiency rating isn’t the only aspect of a system’s total efficiency (which includes things like quality of installation and filtration), in general, higher efficiency means two things:
- Higher initial cost
- Lower energy bill
Aside from size, furnaces also come in what’s called “stages.” A stage refers to the amount of heat it generates.
They come in three varieties:
A single-stage furnace is the most basic and consequently costs the least. When it comes on, it’s at 100% of its capacity. It goes from zero to a hundred and back. There’s no in-between.
A two-stage has a 100% output but also has one that runs - depending on the make and model - at about 40%. Why two stages? Because sometimes you’ll need only a little bit of heat.
Because it can run at a slower speed, it is quieter than a single stage, is better at keeping the temperature at a steady level, and uses less energy. It’s also better at mixing the air in the house, and the more it mixes, the fewer hot and cold spots there are.
A modulating furnace is as good (and expensive) as it gets. It has multiple heating stages, from 100% capacity to as low as around 40%. It will throttle up and down to heating levels that will keep the indoor temperature as steady as possible. It starts and stops less frequently, which will be beneficial to the furnace’s mechanicals. You get the same benefits: more energy efficiency, increased savings, quieter operation, and increased comfort.
Furnace Blower Speeds
Deep in your furnace (or air handler), there’s a motor that controls the blower. This is the device that propels warm air into the vents. As with stages, there are three types:
- Single speed
- Two speed
- Variable speed
For decades, fans ran only at single speed. It was either off or on at 100%. The first forced-air furnaces ran that way, and you can still buy furnaces with the same technology. When it kicks on, you can hear it in almost any room of your house, and you’ll feel hot or cold air circulating.
And when it shuts off, the airflow stops. The advantages of this are that the technology didn’t change much. It was tried and true. They are:
- Not great at eliminating hot and cold spots
- Hard on HVAC equipment. The constant starting and stopping wear out the machinery quickly.
A two-speed blower is a step up. They power up at full throttle and switch to a lower speed to maintain the desired temperature. They’re better than single-speed blowers in every facet.
And finally, the variable-speed blower is the ultimate. Yes, it costs the most but look at what it can do:
- It’s energy-efficient. Even though a variable-speed fan air handler runs for a longer time, it is usually doing it at a low level. This saves energy because your system doesn’t have to turn on and off as often, and it spends much less time running at the highest level.
- A variable-speed system can adjust accordingly to use only the power needed to maintain a consistent temperature in your home.
- It’s quieter. A furnace system is at its loudest when it’s turning on and off and when it’s running at its highest speed. A variable-speed model avoids this by running at 100% only when it needs to. It starts slowly as well, which reduces its sound.
- It produces better indoor air quality. Because the fan runs longer, more air passes through the furnace filter, which removes impurities. And if you have a whole-house humidifier or dehumidifier ducted to your HVAC, it has more time to condition the air. That leads to a perfect and stable humidity level.
You get better comfort control. The fan speeds keep the temperature even all the time. It can match your thermostat’s setting to within a half degree.
- A variable-speed fan delivers the perfect amount of conditioned air to the entire home. You get fewer hot and cold spots.
What HVAC Problems Need to Be Solved?
Here are some questions that a thorough HVAC salesperson should address with you when they visit for an in-home estimate.
How long do you expect to be in this home? If you plan on moving in a few years, you may not want to invest in a top-of-the-line unit. It will take years for the energy savings to justify the higher cost. You’re not going to see the long-term benefits of a modulating system.
But if you’re not planning to move anytime soon, then upgrading to higher-efficiency equipment can pay long-term dividends, both for your and your family’s comfort and your utility costs.
Are you planning on replacing both the furnace and AC, or just one? The equipment has to “rate,” or match. A modulating AC paired with a single-speed furnace blower is a waste of money. If you’re replacing only one, that’s when equipment matching comes into play. Your options might be limited as a result,
Are there hot and cold spots in your home? A single-level or ranch-style home is less likely to have uneven temperatures between areas. In these homes, modulating technology will be needed less. Conversely, large temperature variances in multi-level homes can often be solved by that equipment.
How often do you use your furnace and air conditioner? Do I use my furnace in the fall and spring? If you wait until the coldest winter months to turn on your furnace, you won’t get as much benefit out of modulating equipment. But if you’re having to turn on the furnace for additional fall and spring months, two-stage or modulating becomes a much better option. Ditto for AC. If you use it only when a summer day is sweltering, it’s wise to stick to a single-stage unit.
Are your energy bills satisfactory? Budget matters. If your energy bill is taking too much of your budget, look to the options that can lower it. This is offset, of course, by the initial investment. The equipment that can lower the bills the most is the most expensive. There is no right or wrong answer, which might make the decision even tougher.
How Much Does a New Furnace Replacement Cost?
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. Those prices include labor and permit fees.
The range above accounts for smaller homes all the way up to homes that are 5,000 square feet. It also includes single-stage, two-stage, and variable-speed furnaces, as well as each of those types in both standard and high-efficiency models.
Buying a New Furnace in Grandview Heights, Ohio
Spending thousands of dollars on a product you know little about is daunting. At Fire & Ice, we’ve helped thousands of customers through this difficult path. We take the time to go over every option and answer every question. If you’re in Grandview Heights, or elsewhere in our Central Ohio service areas, we’d love to meet with you to help find the perfect system.
In most cases, we offer next-day installation.