The furnace installed in my home is approximately eighteen years old, and it definitely isn’t going to last much longer. In the past five years, the heater has been a continual drain on my budget. I’ve paid for a whole bunch of minor repairs, and my monthly energy bills have steadily increased. The furnace runs for much longer cycles, struggles to keep up with demand, and is much louder than it used to be. While I hate to invest in a whole new furnace, I know I should take proactive measures. Waiting for the furnace to quit on the coldest night of the year would be a huge mistake. Not only would my family be without heat, but I’d be forced to rush the installation of the new system. I would prefer to take my time, check out the various furnaces and manufacturers on the market, and find a trustworthy HVAC contractor. I’d also like to schedule the installation process over the summer, when there would be less inconvenience, energy waste and time constraints. I’ve already started researching furnaces and HVAC contractors online. From everything I read, it seems that the sizing and installation of the heating equipment is far more important than the manufacturer. Other than AFUE ratings, heating capacity and features, there isn’t a huge difference in furnaces. However, if the contractor doesn’t bother with accurate measurements and calculations, I could end up with a heater that costs me extra every month. A lot of contractors simply install an oversized furnace because it’s easier and puts more money in their pocket. A larger furnace costs more to purchase and install. It also costs more to run. It will reach set temperature in the house too quickly, resulting in frequent starts and stops, and eating up needless amounts of energy.