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Now that fall is upon us it’s time for many Colorado Springs area homeowners to start thinking about having to fire up that old furnace and hope that it still works. The recent cooler weather has already resulted in homeowners calling us to schedule their annual furnace inspection and cleaning.

Which is always a good idea. I mean, why wait until it’s 15 degrees outside to discover your furnace is on the fritz? Now, for those of you who may be considering furnace replacement, you have many more options available to you today than in the past. From efficiency range to communicating furnaces with WiFi-connected thermostats, multi-stage heating, etc, your choices for furnace replacement are many.

So how do you choose?

I suggest that you do a little research first. Compare furnaces for features that best benefit you. And then talk to your HVAC professional before making a final decision. Of course, the budget may factor into your final choice for furnace replacement. At Basset Heating & AC, we offer affordable monthly payment plans through our financing programs that makes it easier to have that new furnace installed today!

One furnace I’d like to talk about specifically (and one that I installed in my own home) is the two-stage furnace with an ECM (or variable speed high-efficiency blower motor).  An excellent choice for furnace replacement, the two-stage furnace heats in two stages of heating instead of one, like the old traditional furnaces. What this means is, if your furnace is rated at 100,000 BTUs, instead of always heating your home at maximum BTU output (even when you only need to warm the house a few degrees), a two-stage furnace initially will use only about 65% of it’s maximum BTU output. If the thermostat is not satisfied within a certain amount of time, then the furnace will automatically kick into the 2nd stage of heating to deliver the higher output necessary to heat your home on the colder days of the year. This furnace is perfect for Colorado’s generally mild winter climate.

The ECM (or variable speed motor) delivers high-efficiency performance and balances the airflow in your home’s heating system (and cooling, if you have central AC). Typically this type of motor will consume about 45-55% LESS electricity when operating than the standard fixed speed PSC motor that is found in most furnaces. It doesn’t just turn “on” and “off” like the standard PSC motor. The ECM motor will slowly ramp up when coming on, and slowly ramp down when turning off. This alone can help eliminate that annoying “banging” noise within the ductwork that is usually caused by a quick, sudden change in static pressure within the ducts.

ECM motors, though costing more, will pay for themselves, usually within just a few years, in energy savings from electric consumption alone. They are more dependable, last longer, and easily out-perform the standard fixed speed PSC motor. They will also make your home’s central AC system operate more efficiently as well. And because they will run on a very low CFM (airflow) when the thermostat is set to “fan on”, you will see far greater air circulation and filtration in your home, which will reduce or eliminate air stratification within the home. Combined with the two-stage heating, this type of furnace will provide much more comfortable temperatures from room to room. This is why this type of furnace is my choice for furnace replacement here in the Colorado Springs area.