5 Tips for Finding the Best Furnace for Your Portland Oregon Home
There are many different furnaces to choose from, and researching them can often prove to be a bit overwhelming. There are just so many factors to consider. The size of your home, the climate, and your access to utilities are among these. The decision is made all the more stressful when you consider the fact that choosing the wrong furnace can prove to be extremely costly, driving up your energy bill and increasing your maintenance costs tremendously.
Fortunately, the process of choosing the best furnace for your Portland, Oregon, home doesn’t need to be an insurmountable challenge. Actually, you’ll discover that it’s relatively easy, provided you remember the five tips below:
1. Consider the Size of Your Home
Home furnaces are not one-size-fits-all; far from it. The size of your home is a major factor in choosing the right furnace. If you choose a furnace that’s too large for your home, you’ll waste a great deal of energy, burning much more fuel than you need for a relatively small area. The furnace will cycle on and off over and over, shortening its life span and costing you more money in maintenance and repairs.
On the other hand, if you end up choosing a furnace that’s too small for your home, this will have an equally detrimental effect on your energy bill. A furnace that isn’t big enough will struggle greatly to generate enough heat energy to fill every room in the house. It will end up burning for hours on end, driving your heating bill up tremendously.
To make sure you get the right size furnace, you need to know the square footage of your home. Measure the length and width of any room that you’ll be heating. Multiply these numbers together to get the square footage. Once you add all of this square footage together, you’ll be able to shop for furnaces that are the right size for your home.
2. Know Your Climate
Some furnaces are a good deal more powerful than others. If you live in an extremely cold area, you’ll need a very powerful furnace. Portland, Oregon, on the other hand, is a more temperate climate, so you may end up wasting money if you opt for the most powerful furnace you can find.
To choose the right furnace for your climate, you’ll need to know the climate zone you live in. In the United States, there are five climate zones, depending on your location. Portland, Oregon, is in climate zone 3, along with Virginia, Missouri, Kansas, and a few other areas. This is a climate zone that’s colder than places like California, but much warmer than areas like New York and Chicago. This means that you’ll need a furnace that has a heating factor of about 45 British Thermal Units, or BTUs.
3. Pick the Right Fuel Source
The way your furnace generates heat depends on the fuel source it uses. Needless to say, not all fuel sources are created equal. Some are a great deal more efficient than others, and some are more inexpensive. Some are more environmentally friendly, and so on. So how do you choose the right one? Well, first you must consider what you have easy access to. For example, every home has access to electricity, but electrical heating isn’t necessarily the most cost-effective way to heat your home.
If you have access to propane or natural gas, these can be excellent fuel sources for heating. However, if you don’t already have a propane or gas hookup for your house, you may discover that it’s prohibitively expensive to have it connected. To make sure you have the best fuel source for your furnace, do some research to see what’s available in your area.
Note also that your fuel source is another factor affected by the climate. In extremely cold areas, you’ll need a very hot-burning fuel for your furnace. Portland, Oregon, doesn’t get this cold, however, and you may be able to get away with utilizing electricity without much trouble.
4. Always Be Thinking About Safety
As with every part of your home, safety is critically important for heating. You should always make this a major consideration when shopping for a furnace for your home. Make sure that you have plenty of space for your furnace to be installed. It should never be near any flammable objects of any kind. Often, people opt to have their furnaces installed in a basement area. This can be a great spot, but if your basement is used for storage, make sure that you have enough room to keep items like paint, rags, and other combustibles far away.
Another key element of safety is filtration. You’ll want to make sure you have a setup where air can circulate easily throughout your home. If it’s unable to do so, the air quality will drop, ultimately leading to allergies, asthma, and other health problems. Always invest in high-quality filters and change them regularly to ensure they don’t become blocked.
5. Get the Best Technician You Can Find
Making sure you have the best furnace for your Portland, Oregon, home isn’t really a decision you can make on your own. As with any major decisions that can have financial ramifications, you should seek the advice of a professional. That’s why it’s a good idea to get the best technician you can find to perform installations, maintenance, and repairs on your furnace. In Portland, Oregon, and the surrounding area, you’ll find the best service at Watts Heating and Cooling.
The technicians from Watts will be able to offer you advice on choosing the right furnace for your home. They’ll also be able to install it for you and maintain it afterward. With the proper maintenance, you’ll largely be able to avoid costly, catastrophic repairs, further saving you money over the years.