Carrier Furnaces: Guide to Choosing a Residential Furnace

Dec 20, 2019Blog, Heating

The furnace in your home heats fuel, normally natural gas or heating oil, in an enclosure. This heated air is circulated to your home via ductwork, raising the ambient temperature in your home.

At Ventwerx HVAC, we recommend Carrier gas furnaces, for several reasons, including their 100+ year track record, reliability, and energy efficiency. Carrier furnaces compare extremely favorably with other higher end furnaces like Trane, Lennox, and Amana.

Why Carrier Furnaces?

Carrier furnaces pass stringent run-testing, meaning they will last for years under heavy use. Also, Carrier is known as an innovator in HVAC technology. The founder, Willis Carrier, invented the modern air conditioning system on July 17th, 1902. The company has been helping homeowners heat and cool their homes ever since.

Notably, Carrier furnaces are not prone to problems, and reliably heat your home in winter, and help circulate air in a HVAC system during the summer. Additionally, their warranties on the Infinity series furnaces are also very comprehensive.

Common Features of Carrier Furnaces

The Infinity® series are either variable speed or two-stage. The Performance™ series has AFUE ratings as high as 96.5%. These are mostly multi-speed models.

Explanation of BTU and AFUE

According to the Department of Energy, “furnaces are rated by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratio, which is the percent of heat produced for every dollar of fuel consumed.” The higher the AFUE rating, the lower your energy costs will be.

One consideration for furnace replacement is how many square feet the furnace will need to heat.

Heating capacity is measured in BTUs, or British thermal units. One BTU is how much heat it takes to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one-degree Fahrenheit.

The standard used by heating and cooling equipment is to provide 25 to 30 BTU per square foot for homes in a Mediterranean-like climate, such as California. A home of 2,000 square feet would need about 60,000 BTU to heat it adequately.

Your heating contractor should give you a Manual J calculation for BTUs needed for the square footage of your home. The Manual J is a standard load calculation agreed upon by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.

Climate Zones

The Department of Energy periodically puts out climate zones, [see map]. If your region falls into certain climate zones, the recommended BTU varies accordingly. In San Jose and Morgan Hill, this correlates to Zone 3. Your furnace should be a minimum of 80% AFUE for you to use energy efficiently.

Climate Zones Map

Retrieved from https://basc.pnnl.gov/images/iecc-climate-zone-map on December 19, 2019.

LIving room with air conditioning unit on wall

How Much BTU Do I Need To Buy?

This table gives a quick guide to how many BTU your replacement furnace might need, based on the square footage of your home.

Home Sq Ft to be Heated vs Required BTU
Home Size in Sq Ft Furnace BTU Required
600 to 1000 sq ft 40,000 BTU
800 to 1200 sq ft 50,000 BTU
1000 to 1400 sq ft 60,000 BTU
1200 to 1600 sq ft 70,000 BTU
1400 to 1800 sq ft 80,000 BTU
1800 to 2400 sq ft 100,000 BTU
2400 to 3000 sq ft 120,000 BTU
Here is an overview of some of the Carrier gas furnaces available on the market.

 

Infinity® 98 Gas Furnace With Greenspeed™ Intelligence

  • Up to 98.5% AFUE
  • Variable speed blower
  • SmartEvap™ and Ideal Humidity System® helps the air conditioner dehumidify the air in summer for maximum efficiency
  • Load matching performance for longer, quieter runs while saving energy
  • Most energy efficient Carrier model
  • 10 year limited warranty on parts with timely registration
  • 60,000-120,000 BTU

Infinity® 96 Gas Furnace

  • Up to 96.7% AFUE efficiency
  • Two-stage heating, variable speed blower
  • SmartEvap™ and Ideal Humidity System® helps the air conditioner dehumidify the air in summer for maximum efficiency
  • Pilot-free, hot surface PowerHeat™ ignition
  • Highest degree of motor electrical efficiency among Carrier furnaces
  • 10 year limited warranty on parts with timely registration

Performance™ 96

  • Up to 96.5% AFUE
  • Performance Edge® thermostat and a variable-speed blower motor
  • Two stage heating
  • Low stage operation up to 90% of time for quiet, energy-efficient operation
  • 40,000-120,000 BTU
  • 10-year parts limited warranty upon timely registration

Infinity® 80 Ultra-Low NOx Gas Furnace

  • 80.0% AFUE
  • Exceeds California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) new requirements for dramatically reduced NOx emissions.
  • Single Stage gas valve, variable speed blower
  • SmartEvap™ technology helps your cooling system with summer dehumidification
  • Pilot-free, hot surface PowerHeat™ ignition
  • 10-year parts limited warranty, Lifetime heat exchanger limited warranty upon timely registration

Infinity® 80 Gas Furnace

  • 80.0% AFUE
  • Two stage heating
  • Two speed blower
  • Ideal Humidity System® and SmartEvap™ technology helps dehumidification in summer
  • Pilot-free, hot surface PowerHeat™ ignition
  • 10-year parts limited warranty, Lifetime heat exchanger limited warranty upon timely registration

Performance™ 80

  • Up to 80.0% AFUE
  • Single stage gas valve
  • Variable-speed, ECM blower motor
  • 10-year parts limited warranty upon timely registration
  • 20-year heat exchanger limited warranty

How to Get Best Price on Your Carrier Furnace

The quality of the installation is an important factor, so choose a licensed contractor experienced in furnace installation.

Depending on what model of furnace purchased, you may be eligible for manufacturer rebates. For homeowners in the Bay Area and Central California, there is the Energy Upgrade California™ program. Check with the Ventwerx team for details.

Summary

Choosing a new Carrier furnace doesn’t need to be difficult. Our HVAC technicians can help you decide whether furnace repair or replacement is the best option. We’ll help you select the best furnace for your home, that will help you save on your energy bill. For a free estimate, fill out the form here, and we will contact you shortly.