Bet you didn’t know that many of the fine qualities you admire about wine also apply to furnaces. And I’m not just talking about the rosy glow you get from that extra glass or from turning the thermostat up too high. Consider these tips — which take a cue from wine culture — the next time you find yourself asking: What furnace do I need?

Ratings Matter

Even if you’re not quite sure what those numbers mean on that bottle of merlot or on the description for a high-efficiency furnace, you’ve likely — and accurately — assumed that the higher the number, the better the product.

From Wine Spectator to International Wine Cellar, wine ratings are subject to different standards and differences of opinion. When it comes to furnaces; however, energy efficiency is measured by the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. This measurement estimates the season-long average efficiency of a furnace as a ratio of useful energy to natural gas input. For example, a gas furnace with a 90% AFUE puts out 90 BTUs of useful heating for every 100 BTUs of natural gas input. The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the unit.

Pairs Well With Others

Wine on its own is perfectly fine, but there’s no denying the chemistry that happens when food and wine come together. From cabernet sauvignon and steak to brut sparkling and mac ‘n’ cheese — finding the perfect pairing elevates the entire dining experience.

Similarly, if you’re looking at your basic home heating needs, installing a high-efficiency furnace is a perfectly acceptable solution. But if you’re looking at elevating the overall air quality and comfort of your home, then you may want to consider combining complementary products for a superior, total home solution. Products that pair nicely with your furnace include:

Don’t Underestimate Consumption Needs

Fortunately, someone has gone to the trouble of coming up with a wine calculator to help avoid the embarrassing party faux pas of running out of wine. The calculator takes into consideration the number of guests, drink portion sizes, and the volume of wine per bottle.

And when it comes to deciding what type of furnace you need, don’t forget to calculate the heating needs of your home first. There are some handy formulas that can help too!

Based on the average Canadian climate, we can generally assume a heating range of 50-60 BTUs per square foot. So, for a 2,000 square foot home, you would need a furnace that delivers an output between 100,000 and 120,000 BTUs. Other factors to consider include the efficiency of the furnace model, the floorplan of your home, and how well your home is insulated. When in doubt, you should ultimately contact a professional furnace expert to conduct a thorough assessment and help you select the best furnace for your needs.

Set the Stage For All Occasions

Everyone loves a good deal. And when you find a decent wine that’s good value, you might be tempted to buy it by the caseload and further increase your upfront savings. There’s nothing really wrong with this. But now you’re stuck with a whole lot of Riesling. And different occasions call for different kinds of wine. Now you’ve invested in wine by the case and you’re still running to the store to buy suitable wines for different events or meals.

Likewise, when choosing a furnace, you will notice that a single-stage furnace costs less money up front. A single-stage furnace revs up to full gas anytime there is a call for heat in your house. On the other hand, a two-stage furnace only kicks into high gear when it’s really cold or when a lot of heat is needed quickly; otherwise, it operates at 70% to maintain the temperature of your home. Ultimately, a two-stage furnace is going to be more economical in the long run. And unless you only like riesling, a mixed-case of wine is probably the better option.

Choosing the Right Furnace

Hopefully, this article has uncorked some of the mystery surrounding how to choose a furnace. If you prefer to leave things like wine and furnace selection up to the experts, we’re happy to help with the latter. Contact us to arrange a consultation and free furnace installation estimate.