Written by Patricia Skinner
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The type of furnace you buy, and the size, should be determined by the size of your home and your requirements. Whether you use gas, oil or electric is mainly a matter of preference. Sometimes though, it's a matter of where your furnace is going to be situated. If you have to have a furnace indoors, electricity is cleaner.

While the EPA requires furnaces to have at least a 78 percent annual fuel utilization rating, some of the new super-efficient condensing gas furnaces are between 92 and 96 percent efficient. That could translate into considerable energy savings over time. Such a furnace could be a particularly good choice for homeowners who live in areas that experience very cold winters.

Furnace Features

Aside from efficiency and size, other features that you might want to look for are quietness. Some furnaces really make a lot of noise, and while many households will hardly notice it, others will find it exceedingly irritating. Another important issue is exhaust. Some of the biggest name brands in furnaces to consider are Trane, Rheem, Bryant, and Goodman, which also makes Janitrol and Amana brands.

Although the majority of us are preoccupied with brands these days, experts tell us we're wrong when it comes to buying furnaces. They say we should be concentrating on the right size of furnace first. Next, look for a make that gives a long warranty; this always indicates quality. Last, but by no means least, make sure you get the best technician you can find to install your furnace. This can be critical; lots of home owners have spent a lot of money having someone else put right the mistakes made by a previous contractor.

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