Consumer Reports: Finding the Best Gas Furnace for Your Home

By: Brian Schutt  |  January 11, 2017

Per Consumer Reports furnaces guide, buying a higher efficient furnace can be better for your wallet, as well as the cost of energy prices.

When it’s time to replace your old or broken gas furnace, you have many brands and features from which to choose. Which central heating system is the best on the market? Which heating unit is the best for your Indianapolis home? And how do you make a decision that’s not solely based on cost?

All great questions. And thankfully, Consumer Reports just released its Gas Furnace Buying Guide with all you need to make this vital home improvement decision. While there are other heating options you could choose to warm our Central Indiana house, their report focuses solely on gas furnaces.

It’s worth a full read, but we’ve summarized the top four findings for you below:

1. Find Only the Gas Furnace That Fits Your Home

As we’ve expressed on this website before, Consumer Reports confirms that it’s imperative you find the right size furnace for your house. The mantra, “go big or go home,” does not apply when buying a furnace for your Indianapolis home. Find one that’s not too small—or you won’t be able to reach your preferred comfort level—and don’t overdue it by buying too large—or you’ll be paying for more than you need and put more strain on your unit.

2. Check the AFUE Ratings

According to Consumer Reports, if you’re looking to save money in the long-term, a higher-efficiency unit will be the way to go. You’ll likely need to open your pocketbook a little further upfront, but you’ll also be able to save more each month over the long run. Look at the annual fuel-utilization-efficiency (AFUE) rating on the gas furnaces you’re considering. The higher the rating, the more efficient the unit. If you’re currently working with an ancient gas furnace, you’re next system will automatically be more efficient as federal guidelines require units to be at a minimum level of 78%, which can be 13% higher than units from the 1970s.

3. Confirm Your Current Unit Cannot be Repaired First

If you’ve been reading our blog for awhile or explored our core values, you know that our Homesense technicians will always do everything humanly possible to repair your unit. But, of course, there are times when the repairs will only band-aid your current gas furnace for so long and you’ll end up paying more in the end.

Consumer Reports offers a few things you or your service technician can check before tossing your old unit to the grave.

  • Inspect the cleanliness/age of your air filter

  • Look for any thermostat wiring malfunctions

  • Make sure all fuses and breakers are operational

You’ll want to be sure to find a heating and cooling expert who does these too.

4. Consider the Unit’s Reliability Score

While many of today’s gas furnace models are much more reliable than their predecessors, Consumer Reports cautions that not all units are created equal. Be sure to check out their Gas Furnace Brand Reliability Report.

As the Consumer Reports furnaces study confirmed, when it’s time for you to replace your gas furnace your first step will likely be to call contractors for estimates. We hope we’ll be on your short list if/when that time comes. We’re confident we can find the best match for you and your needs.


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