At Homesense Heating & Cooling, we understand a furnace repair or furnace replacement can be overwhelming. That’s why we believe in a 360-degree approach and combine your family’s needs, our expertise and your equipment options.
Ultimately, we care about the best heating solution for your family. As a result, we train our expert technicians to walk you through a step-by-step process. We aim for a resolution which balances your budgetary needs with your comfort and efficiency goals.
Whether you are in need of an emergency furnace repair, a new furnace purchase, or just preventative maintenance, we created this ultimate guide to furnace repair and replacement
The heat never seems to go out at an ideal time. Avoid confusion and speed up your heat’s return with this list of common furnace parts:
Avoid a big furnace repair with simple maintenance like filter checks. If you’re unsure of the process, we can help!
Furnace filters keep dirt, debris and other harmful objects out of your HVAC unit, specifically your blower motor. Advanced furnace filters also block pollen, bacteria, virus and mold spores from the circulation and contamination of your indoor air.
Clogged and dirty filters reduce your indoor air quality and make your HVAC equipment work harder. This increases your energy bills and increases your risk of a furnace repair or breakdown.
First, we recommend a consultation with a Homesense Heating & Cooling technician. He’ll share your furnace manufacturer’s guidelines with you so you get the right filter for your HVAC unit. More expensive isn’t always better. Sometimes the super expensive filters are more than your heating unit can handle.
Next, it’s important to look at the MERV rating (minimum efficiency reporting value) on each filter option. MERV ratings range from 1 to 16, with the higher rating indicating the better the filter at blocking particles from entering your home.
To make sure your filter works with the correct specs of your HVAC unit, we suggest working a Homesense HVAC consultant. If your family lives with allergies or asthma, we strongly recommend you upgrade your filter to a higher MERV rating compatible with your furnace.
Use one to filter out allergens, dander and other harmful dust particles. If monthly filter changes feel cumbersome, choose one designed to last several months between changes.
Read the manufacturer’s guidelines on your filter to fully understand when it needs to be changed. We strongly recommend changing your filter at least four times a year, with the changing of the seasons. Air passes through your HVAC unit throughout the entire year, so it’s important to change your filters in all seasons.
Watch the following video to learn how to properly change your furnace filter from our team of experts at Homesense Heating & Cooling.
Unfortunately, furnaces don’t last forever. If your furnace stops working, a Homesense technician conducts a thorough 19-point inspection of your system. He determines the issue and all viable solutions. Here are some of the things we check to identify if there’s a need for a furnace repair or replacement:
We understand a new furnace purchase for your home is a big decision and serious investment. It should last for the next 16-20 years, so we want you to help you make the right choice.
A heat pump resembles an outdoor air conditioning condenser, with one big differentiator. Both heating and cooling take place inside a heat pump. This is unlike a traditional split system in which the heating happens inside with the furnace and the cooling happens outside in the condenser. We offer multiple options in this category.
Geothermal heat pumps are a popular heating and cooling alternative. For anyone who plans to stay in their home for a long time, it can be a great investment. As an eco-friendly option, geothermal units provide a heating and cooling source from the earth.
The cost to operate is relatively inexpensive and typically sees an 80 percent operating cost savings compared to traditional heating and cooling systems. The initial installation cost is considered higher than a traditional system, but the benefits are huge, including equipment lifespan and energy savings.
Geothermal heat pump systems consist of two components. One is an interior unit – the heat pump. The second is an exterior in-ground system composed of pipes and referred to as a ground loop. This geothermal system uses the constant temperature from the ground.
Typically, the temperature is near 55 degrees throughout the year. Water is circulated between the indoor and outdoor systems. These systems extract heat from the earth during the winter and remove heat from your house during the summer.
The benefits of geothermal systems include:
When deciding to buy a new furnace for your home, consider the following:
EFFICIENCY: We strongly recommend buying a new furnace with an AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating of more than 90 percent. While this may cost more upfront, the cost savings, in the long run, is often worth it.
BLOWER MOTOR: Choose a furnace with a variable-speed blower motor. This has the ability to run at different speeds and provides a wider range of heating to your home. Variable-speed systems also save homeowners a lot of money on monthly energy bills. They also provide consistent comfort throughout the house.
THERMOSTAT: Ask a Homesense team member to recommend a programmable or smart thermostat to pair with your new furnace. With smart thermostats, you can control the temperature inside your home from your smartphone, resulting in reduced operating costs and increased comfort in your home. We advise against buying any smart thermostat. It’s best to pair the right device with your furnace model to get the most value.
EXPECTED MOVE: If you plan to move to a new house soon, it’s important to understand the age, efficiency rating and quality of the furnace in your new home. Get this information before moving in or making an offer. It may become a negotiating point.
QUALITY CONTROL OF INSTALLERS: Before buying a new furnace, make sure you fully understand the quality control process of your selected HVAC company. The supervising technician should go through a checklist with you of the specifics of the job. He should also outline an inspection process for after the installation. Ask questions until you fully understand everything and get it in writing.
Many different factors affect the specific cost of a new furnace, making it impossible to determine one blanket cost. Here are several items to consider in order to make an educated decision when buying a new furnace:
It’s important to understand how your furnace is fueled. Most furnaces are gas-fueled, with a cost range from $2,000 – $5,000. Alternatively, some furnace systems are powered by electricity, which typically range in cost from $5,000 – $15,000 depending on size and efficiency.
Electric systems typically indicate a heat pump-air handler combination system. The heat pump lives outside and functions like an air conditioning unit during the summer months, before reversing its function in the winter to serve as the primary heat source. The air handler lives inside and houses a backup emergency heat source.
An annual fuel unit efficiency (AFUE) rating indicates the efficiency level of a furnace. The higher the rating the more efficient — and more expensive — your furnace initially costs. Standard efficiency systems are rated at 80 percent, meaning 20 percent of the generated heat gets lost. Newer models typically receive a 90 percent rating or higher, with some reaching 98.5 percent. While these models may cost more upfront, they ultimately result in lower utility costs. The more you use your furnace, the quicker you will see a return on your investment.
In gas furnaces, heat output gets measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). Single gas furnaces usually start at 40,000 BTUs and can increase to 135,000 BTUs. If your home exceeds 5,000 square feet, we recommend moving to a two system unit, instead of upgrading to the largest system.
As we mentioned above, the cost of furnace installation depends on many different factors. Furnace installation typically takes a team of two technicians an entire day. The cost of labor usually makes up about half of the overall price. Furnace installation costs typically include the following:
The Brand: While completely up to you and your budget, Homesense technicians give you several recommendations to consider for your specific needs and requirements.
Furnace Location: If your furnace sits in a difficult-to-reach spot in your home, the installation may take longer and require more technicians, which will increase your cost.
Choice of HVAC Contractor: We strongly recommend doing your research when looking for an HVAC contractor for a new furnace installation. Speak with the customer service representative over the phone or in person, ask all your questions, and make sure you trust the company doing the work. Ensure you receive a warranty in writing from your HVAC contractor which specifies the covered equipment, the length of coverage, and the process to resolve problems.
On average, furnace installation ranges between $2,500 – $6,000 nationwide. Once again, this varies based on your location, brand, HVAC company, etc. We strongly recommend doing all of your research before making a decision to replace your furnace.
The following tips can help make the cost more manageable:
Whether you are buying a new furnace or completing a furnace repair, it’s important you are completely comfortable in your home. Here are some common comfort issues we see and recommendations how to fix them:
When the temperature drops outside, the humidity level drops with it. This explains why your windows are coated with moisture on chilly mornings. If you have a whole-house humidifier, check your humidistat and reset it so that your windows stay clear in the mornings. If you don’t have a whole-house humidifier, turn your fan to the “on” mode to increase air circulation in your home.
Most of us have experienced the discomfort of a hot second floor and cold first floor. In order to fix this, try the following:
• Change your filters to ensure air flows freely.
• Insulate and ventilate your attic to lessen the amount of heat on the second floor.
• Proper ventilation to remove as much heat and moisture as possible from upstairs.
• Insulate your windows so you seal up all cracks, holes and gaps to prevent seepage.
• Change your fan setting on the thermostat from “auto” to “on” in order to mix the air more evenly throughout your home.
If you’re having trouble reaching the ideal temperature inside your home, it could mean your furnace isn’t sized properly. An undersized furnace simply cannot produce enough heating capacity to warm the total square footage of your home.
Conversely, an oversized furnace produces more heat than needed to maintain comfort in your home. This often results in “short cycling” and extra wear and tear on your furnace. It can prematurely age your system and lead to an inconvenient furnace repair. Check with your HVAC technician to understand the best size furnace needed for the size of your home.
The R-Value measures your insulation’s ability to resist heat traveling through it. The higher the R-Value, the better the thermal performance of the insulation. In the Indianapolis area, we recommend an R-Value of 38-60. A Homesense HVAC technician is happy to help you determine the right R-value for your home.
At Homesense Heating & Cooling, we want the best comfort for you inside your home. In the winter, it means properly-working heat, which sometimes requires a furnace repair or replacement. Together, we believe we can find the best furnace system for your home, your budget and your needs. We provide clarity within the equipment options so you can make the most informed decision possible.
So, if you find yourself in need of an emergency furnace repair or have been considering a furnace replacement in the Indianapolis area, give us a call at 317-670-0171. Or, you can click to schedule an appointment.
Homesense proudly serves Indianapolis and surrounding suburbs such as Broad Ripple, Butler-Tarkington, Meridian-Kessler, Noblesville, Fishers, Geist, Westfield, Zionsville, Carmel and Castleton. We are more than happy to answer your questions and determine the best next steps. We look forward to working with you!