A new furnace gives you the chance to really increase your HVAC system's efficiency so that you use less energy and can enjoy lower heating bills. There are several options available that can help ensure that you have the most efficient furnace possible.

Choose a High-Efficiency Furnace

Not all new furnaces are created equal. For a forced-air model, opt for a high-efficiency furnace. You can determine the efficiency by looking for the EnergyStar information or the AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) listed on the label.

EnergyStar labels indicate that the furnace meets the Environmental Protection Agency's minimum standards for efficiency. The AFUE label provides a bit more information since it indicates the exact percentage of efficiency for the furnace. Naturally, the higher this percentage, the more efficient the furnace. It is also vital that you make sure the furnace chosen is sized properly to your home. 

Know Your Filter Options

The filters that your new furnace uses also affect efficiency. This usually comes into play if you need stronger filtration, such as due to allergies, pet dander, or dust. Some furnaces, even efficient new models, cannot perform as well when filters with a high MERV rating are used. MERV is the minimum efficiency reporting value, and the higher the number, the more efficient the filter is at filtering out air particles.

A higher MERV rating means that the filter has smaller openings, which can take more energy for the furnace to pull air through. Check the recommended filter MERV range for any furnace you are considering so you can choose an efficient model that also meets your air filtration needs.

Upgrade the Thermostat

Older thermostats may not work as well as modern varieties, so it makes sense to have a new thermostat installed at the same time as the furnace. Upgrade to a programmable digital thermostat for increased accuracy and to ensure your home is kept at the most efficient temperature. You can even have set programs so that you don't need to heat the home when you are away.

An even better upgrade is a Wi-Fi-enabled smart thermostat. You can manage the temperature of your home remotely, such as by keeping the heat on low if you are away from the house longer than you expected. Most smart thermostats, as well as some programmable thermostats, can also heat the home by zone. This allows you to set different rooms to different temperatures. 

Contact a residential heating installation service for more information.