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Houston Furnace Installation: Understanding the Basics
The winter season is one of the most wonderful of the four “seasons” we have in Houston. Homeowners prepare for the freezing-cold weather and the need to keep the family warm and cozy when indoors. As Texans, we know that furnace replacement (especially in Houston) is an important project to complete before the cold seasons. However, if your home heating unit fails or needs repair during a cold spell it can become an emergency situation to get it fixed quickly.
Being used to the heat of the summer, us Texans aren’t too privy to cold temperatures, especially in our own homes. Having a reliable gas furnace unit is essential to enjoying a Texas winter. Before hiring a local HVAC contractor, you should know and understand a thing or two about replacing a home furnace. Here are four points about the furnace installation process and associated costs that you should understand before hiring a furnace installer in your Houston neighborhood.
Furnace Replacement Costs in Houston
The cost for furnace replacement will actually vary by region depending on local labor and installation rates. It’s always highly suggested that you talk to at least four different HVAC contractors in Houston to make sure you are getting a fair price for your furnace repair or replacement. According to our HVAC contractors in Houston, the average cost for furnace replacement in the greater Houston area will average out within following price points:
- Gas Furnace Installation in Houston: $2,200 to $7,150
- Electric Furnace Installation in Houston: $1,000 to $5,500
- Oil Burning Furnace Installation in Houston: $6,200 (with reserve tank)
Furnace Repair Costs in Houston
Sometimes you can get by with simply repairing your furnace unit instead of having to replace the entire system. If your home currently has a furnace that was installed 18 years ago, it wouldn’t make sense to spend $1,800 in repair costs (average Houston furnace repair cost) when you could replace with a brand new furnace for around $3,200. The rule of thumb is if your furnace has used up three-fourths of it’s life expectancy, you should never spend more than one-third of the cost for furnace repairs.
1. Furnace Design Matters
If you have an existing furnace and you want it to be replaced or repaired, you may need to request your local Houston furnace repair contractor to assess the old one using the ACCA Manual J method, which is the basis for computing heating and cooling loads. The ACCA Manual J states that there are several energy consumption criteria, including:
- Building size and orientation
- Material style and composition
- Insulation value and internal loads
- Duct integrity
- Perimeter tightness
If a new home furnace is installed without proper load computations, short heating cycles may happen. It can increase operating costs and decrease the lifespan of your HVAC system. Moreover, miscalculations may result in temperature inconsistencies and humidity concerns. The cost of HVAC installation is significant, so you’ll want to make sure your HVAC installer gets it right the first time.
2. Choose a Furnace Based on the AFUE Standards
All of the best furnace brands utilize a higher AFUE rating (the rating that determines energy efficiency and heating output capabilities.) Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE standards is the thermal measurement to assess the effectiveness of furnaces and boilers. With an AFUE rating of 90, about 2% of the used fuel results in wasted gas. Unfortunately, old furnaces that should be replaced fair only about 60% using the AFUE standards. Aged equipment usually needs frequent maintenance repairs. Plus, it also adds to greenhouse gas emissions, which harms the environment.
When living in Houston, choosing an efficient furnace is crucial when dealing with the ever-changing Texas weather conditions. When the load calculation is complete, your local Houston HVAC professional will help you choose a home heating unit based on your home’s heating needs. The common kinds of furnaces include two-stage burners and multi-speed blowers. The most common furnace type that Houston homeowners have installed are new gas furnaces or replacement electric furnaces. You can also do upgrades with the burner flame and fan motor system if you desire. High-end automatic heaters can be sensitive to the outdoor temperature and adjust according to your preferred indoor temperature and even controlled by smart home technology to be even more efficient.
3. Understand the Furnace Installation Process
A gas furnace installation starts with the assessment of the air distribution system within your house. It may include a thorough inspection of your existing pipes and ducts to check any leakage or gaps. The furnace installers will also conduct a duct system sizing test to determine if your old ducts are on par with the ACCA Manual D. Inefficient ductwork may lead to poor air delivery and decrease equipment performance. Worse scenarios may even lead to the need for furnace replacement. A furnace usually works in tandem with your central air conditioner unit for both heating and cooling needs.
Your local furnace installer will proceed to fix all of your HVAC unit connections by aligning the furnace with the supply plenum. They will also have to securely connect the equipment with your home’s ducts to prevent any gas and smoke leaks. It is also essential to ensure the proper connection of the condensate lines, flue pipelines, and thermostat system to the furnace. Finally, the high-voltage electrical wirings should be aligned and secured.
4. Do a Furnace Test
Finally, once the installation is complete, your local Houston furnace installer must do a furnace test to check if the equipment runs properly. A complete heating cycle must be finished, and the temperature must comply with the manufacturer’s expected results. A successful furnace test will ensure the safety and efficiency of the newly installed furnace. Understanding what to expect with a new furnace installation will help keep you knowledgeable when hiring a local furnace installer in Houston.