There are no shortages of gas furnaces to choose from and sometimes that makes the decision even harder. When the time came to replace our unit we decided to go with a Rheem gas furnace.
In business since the mid-1920s, Rheem Manufacturing started out with a galvanising plant in San Francisco, manufacturing water heaters. In 1959 they acquired Ruud Manufacturing, a pioneer in the water heating industry with a product line and a distribution network throughout North America. Some years later they entered the heating and air conditioning market and expanded, and in 1985 acquired Raypak, a leading producer of copper tube boilers used for swimming pool heating. Respected for reliability, Rheem is an industry leader for heating, cooling and water heating solutions. Rheem products meet rigorous industry and regulatory standards and are routinely tested and certified by various government and third-party testing.
For a potential buyer, a good furnace is one where the house is kept warm and comfortable, with dependable performance year after year. When a furnace loses heat, it requires more energy to keep warm. Rheem’s state-of-the-art models significantly reduce this loss of heat with a blanket of insulation that lines the inside of the cabinet walls. Pilot lights are also wasteful. They have an electric ignition which eliminates the need for a constantly burning pilot which gives up to 6% higher efficiency. Rheem also offers a pressure switch which continuously monitors venting. In the event it senses a vent flow restriction, it automatically shuts down your heating system for your safety. A high-efficiency Rheem gas furnace generally is more expensive, but make up the difference by reduced costs over the long run. Before making a decision to buy a heating unit, ask your contractor whether the manufacturer of the brand you’re considering purchasing pass quality checks before leaving the plant.
We did a lot of reading online in order to make an informed decision. We looked at gas furnace reviews, and did our best to compare gas furnaces as we wanted the best model, with the highest efficiency, at the best price. Our old gas furnace was almost twenty years old, and was starting to rattle and distribute heat unevenly in the house. We didn’t want to wait until winter to make a decision under pressure. Most gas furnaces have a lifespan of twenty years anyway, and the time to act was upon us.
We talked with our local Rheem representative and were impressed by how knowledgeable he was about the products. With the emphasis today on being “green” we were glad to see Rheem stock a selection of PrOzone products that are environmentally friendly. We learned about AFUE efficiency ratings and how they compare between different gas furnace manufacturers. AFUE is a simple system that allows you to calculate how much money you are likely to save each year buying a more efficient system. Older gas furnaces that use pilot lights generally have an efficiency rating of about 65%. The Rheem 90 Plus furnace delivers AFUE ratings up to 94.5%.
Rheem also showed us how a high efficiency furnace could be cost effective over time. We plan to live in our house at least another ten years, which means that the overall cost of the unit will be lower for us. The Rheem Classic Series, RGPP Series, RGPN Series and RGLN Series also offer a 20-year warranty on the heat exchanger unit, as well as a 5 year warranty on all other parts.
There were many models to choose from, the Rheem Classic Series Downflow Premium and Upflow/Horizontal furnaces, Classic 90 Plus Value Upflow and Classic 90 Plus Premium Downflow. They also offer a wide range of Rheem Value-Line series furnaces.
Understanding What The Rating Numbers Mean
The US government requires an efficiency rating of all air-conditioning and heating equipment. The rating reflects the percentage of energy used efficiently, with a high rating indicating high-efficiency. SEER is a special name for the efficiency ratings of various types of equipment. Air-conditioning equipment, for instance, is rated by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating; the higher the SEER rating, the higher the efficiency of the unit. Heat Pump Equipment in the heating mode is rated by the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, or HSPF; the higher the HSPF rating, the more efficient the unit.
Considerations Before Settling on a High Efficiency Gas furnace
- Have your licensed dealer visit your house and do a complete evaluation or load calculation. What this means is that he will take into account the size of the house, the climate where you live, the number and type of windows installed, what type of insulation, as well as how many people are living in the house. He’ll check to see what materials the house has been built with and check seals, estimate air leakage, and locate existing vents and ductwork. Doing a load calculation determines what size unit your home requires. An over or under-sized unit is a common mistake buyers make. When a licensed dealer performs a load calculation, you will have a smooth running system and a comfortable home.
- Having said all of the above, a High Efficiency Gas Furnace may not always be the most appropriate choice. Your 90% efficient furnace will cost you more than your 80% efficient furnace if you move to a new house within the payoff period, meaning the period over which you would have recouped costs. Don’t forget either, that if you move, you are no longer the registered owner of the house, and will not be entitled to the free replacement unit you would have received.
Reduction in Purchasing and Installation Costs
- Encourage several contractors to compete for your business by asking them to do estimates. Talk to the different contractors individually. Give them your card. Let them know you are serious.
- Don’t make a decision in a rush. A high efficiency gas furnace is a lot of money and you want the best, at the best price.
- Choose a reputable contractor. If the company has a licensed contractor on board, see if you can work something out with the cost. You will have the furnace for a long time. Get to know the contractor you choose.