5 Tips for Selecting the Right Furnace for Your Historic Home

Historic homes in the Pacific Northwest, encompassing states like Oregon, Washington, and Montana, are prized for their charm, architectural beauty, and timeless appeal.

But they can get drafty over time, especially during the colder months. 

Selecting the right furnace for your historic home is crucial. This choice is especially important because historic homes often have unique architectural features and constraints that modern homes do not.

Carrier Northwest understands the unique challenges and importance of maintaining your comfort in a historic home. Our network of expert Carrier Factory Authorized Dealers ensures that the chosen furnace meets modern efficiency standards and respects the architectural integrity of these cherished structures.

5 Tips for Selecting the Right Furnace for Your Northwest Historic Home

The right furnace must provide adequate heating and complement the existing infrastructure, such as older ductwork and insulation. Additionally, it should operate efficiently to help preserve the home’s integrity and reduce energy costs. 

Consideration must also be given to maintaining the historical aesthetic, meaning the furnace should ideally be unobtrusive and not detract from the home’s period charm. The selected furnace must be capable of distributing heat efficiently and evenly throughout the home, ensuring that every room remains cozy without creating drafts or cold spots. 

Here are five tips to guide you in making the best choice for your beloved historic home:

1. How Drafty Is Your Home?

Before considering furnace options, evaluating your historic home’s insulation and overall energy efficiency is crucial. Many older homes were built with materials and techniques that might not meet modern standards for energy efficiency, leading to significant heat loss and higher energy bills.

  • Check for Drafts: Inspect windows, doors, and other potential sources of drafts. Simple fixes like weather stripping and caulking can make a big difference.
  • Upgrade Insulation: If feasible, consider upgrading the insulation in the attic, walls, and basement. This can help retain heat better and reduce the workload on your furnace.
  • Energy Audit: Conduct an energy audit to identify areas for improvement. Some utility companies offer this service for free or at a low cost.

By improving your home’s insulation, you can ensure that whichever furnace you choose will operate more efficiently and cost-effectively.

2. Choose the Right Size Furnace

Selecting the correct size furnace is essential for maintaining comfort and efficiency. A furnace that’s too large will cycle on and off frequently, leading to unnecessary wear and tear, while an undersized furnace will struggle to heat your home adequately.

Carrier Northwest dealers use a Manual J load calculation to determine a home’s heating requirements. This calculation considers factors that can affect how well a unit heats a home, such as the size of the home, insulation levels, number of windows, and other factors.

Remember, an appropriately sized furnace will keep your home comfortable and run more efficiently, saving you money on energy bills.

3. Opt for High-Efficiency Models

Investing in a high-efficiency furnace is wise in the Northwest U.S., where winters can be long and harsh. Modern high-efficiency furnaces can significantly reduce energy consumption and lower heating bills.

  • ENERGY STAR® Certification: Choose ENERGY STAR-certified furnaces; these models meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Tax Credits: New furnaces that meet or exceed the highest energy efficiency tier established by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) can qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $600.

High-efficiency furnaces provide cost savings and reduce your environmental impact, aligning with the sustainability goals many historic homeowners cherish.

4. Consider the Type of Furnace Fuel

The type of fuel your furnace uses can affect its performance, cost, and environmental impact. The most common options include natural gas, oil, and electricity.

  • Natural Gas: Natural gas furnaces are generally the most efficient and cost-effective option, especially if you already have a gas line installed in your home.
  • Oil: Oil furnaces are less common but can be a good option in areas where natural gas is unavailable. They tend to be less efficient and require regular maintenance.
  • Electricity: Electric furnaces are often the least efficient and can be more expensive to operate. However, they can be a viable option in areas where other fuel sources are unavailable or if you have access to renewable energy sources.

Evaluate the availability and cost of each fuel type in your area and choose the one that best fits your needs and budget.

5. Preserve the Home’s Aesthetic and Structure

One of the joys of owning a historic home is its unique character and charm. Preserving your home’s aesthetic and structural integrity is essential when installing a new furnace.

  • Ductwork: If your home doesn’t already have ductwork, installing it can be invasive and costly. Consider alternatives like ductless mini splits, which provide efficient heating without requiring extensive modifications to your home.
  • Historic Preservation Guidelines: Check for any local historic preservation guidelines or restrictions. These may influence the type of furnace and installation methods you can use.
  • Professional Installation: Choose a reputable HVAC contractor with experience working on historic homes. They can provide insights and solutions that respect your home’s architecture while ensuring efficient heating.

Considering these factors, you can enjoy the comfort of a modern heating system without compromising your home’s historical integrity.

Trust Carrier Northwest Dealers With Your Historic Home

Selecting the right furnace for your historic home in the Northwest U.S. requires careful consideration of various factors, from energy efficiency and fuel type to preserving your home’s unique character. 

By assessing your home’s insulation, choosing the right size furnace, opting for high-efficiency models, considering the fuel type, and preserving the home’s aesthetic and structure, you can ensure a warm, comfortable, and energy-efficient living space. 

For expert guidance and professional installation, trust the network of dealers with Carrier Northwest to help you make the best choice for your historic home. Find A dealer near you in Oregon, Washington, or Montana that can help you select the right furnace for your historic home. 

By offering tailored solutions, the Carrier Factory Authorized Dealers of Carrier Northwest help preserve your home’s historical value while providing reliable and effective heating.