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Buying a furnace is no small investment, and like any major decision, demands a certain amount of thought before making a final choice.

Here are 10 considerations you should have completely thought out before making the decision about the furnace you purchase, and some questions you should ask yourself about each one, courtesy of the team at R&D Heating and Cooling:

1. System Type

Do you need a split system furnace or a packaged HVAC unit? Split HVAC components are the more common choice, in which there is an indoor and outdoor unit in use. Packaged HVAC systems are better for residences without much extra room in crawlspaces, basements, or closets for bulky heating and cooling systems.

2. Indoor Air Quality

When it’s time to replace your old furnace, there are other things to consider as well. For example, have you ever had your indoor air quality checked? When was the last time you had your ductwork cleaned? No matter the age of your furnace, air being pushed through unclean ducts and filters can present the added risk of respiratory illness on the occupants of your home or office.

3. Zoning Systems

Do you have a particularly large home or office? Does the climate tend to vary greatly in different parts of your space? When your heating and cooling needs are more complicated, you need a furnace with a zoning system. This splits different parts in your home up among different thermostats, meaning that you can stay comfortable in one part without sacrificing comfort in another.

4. Fuel Source

How old is your home? If you live in an old home, you may not have gas lines, meaning that your choices are an electric furnace or an old-fashioned propane-powered furnace. If not, gas and electric are the two most affordable, cleanest fuels to provide heat throughout your home or business in the winter. Electric heat is the cleanest but may cost more than gas heat, the most common source of energy for residential furnaces.

5. Blower Speed

Do you find yourself needing certain rooms heated nearly constantly? This can be solved by an upgrade in the blower speed of your furnace. Fixed speed blowers only distribute air at one speed, while variable speed blowers can offer an enhanced efficiency in creating comfortable living and working spaces.

6. Installation

Do you have a team that you trust to handle installation? A furnace and/or any other HVAC equipment is only as reliable as the team you use to install it. At R&D Heating and Cooling, you get access to experienced furnace installation experts.

7. Pricing

What’s your budget for a new furnace? Do you know how much a high-quality furnace will cost you? Buying a cheaper option may seem economical in the short run, but over time the costs of additional maintenance and the likely need to replace it faster than higher-quality models may cost you more.

8. Size

How much space do you have for a new furnace? If the answer is “not a lot” you may want to consider a packaged HVAC unit. If you’re replacing a furnace as part of a split system, you may want to stay with the more common choice, although switching to a packaged system may save some space.

9. Warranty

Make sure that when you purchase a new furnace, you get the equipment and installation with a great warranty. At R&D Heating and Cooling, we offer warranties on all our installation, as well as manufacturer’s warranties on the equipment we install.

10. Rebate and Incentives

Look for specials like incentives and rebates from the company you choose for installation of your new furnace. Check out the specials that we offer right now at R&D Heating and Cooling!


Even the highest quality heating and cooling systems need to be replaced after a certain amount of time, but the specific amount of time depends on the type of HVAC system in your home. A standard HVAC system, whether it involves a heat pump or furnace as a heating generator, will last somewhere between 15 and 20 years on average.

Don’t know old your HVAC is? Here are three signs that it’s time to replace your HVAC unit, courtesy of the experts at R&D Heating and Cooling:

1. A Noticeable Rise in Gas or Electric Costs

Over time, your heating and cooling unit will become less and less efficient. You won’t be able to tell by looking at it, but you’re likely to notice when it shows up on your energy bills.

Whether your home is heated using gas or electricity, the first time you’re likely to notice when winter rolls around. Our region might not get consistently hot enough in the summer that your HVAC is running constantly to cool your home, but it’s likely that in the coldest parts of January and February, there will be stretches where you’re heating your home for weeks on end. During these times, you’ll start to notice a major increase in electricity costs.

Do your due diligence to make sure it isn’t caused by other factors: a colder winter than usual, for example, or a faulty thermostat, but most likely, it’s due to the age of your home’s HVAC.

You may be tempted to repair the unit, and this may be effective for a while, but in the long run, it will be cost-effective to replace the whole system.

2. Declining Indoor Air Quality

Old HVAC units, filters, and air vents can cause a major decrease in indoor air quality. Those won’t be immediately noticeable but at a certain point, you might notice that you and/or occupants of your household or business having more difficulty breathing normally. Sometimes the cause of this is faulty ventilation or a dirty filter. Other times, it’s a sign that you need a new heating and cooling system.

The first step is to have HVAC experts perform an indoor air quality audit, and an inspection of your vents, filters, and HVAC units. Once air quality drops to a certain point, replacing the entire system makes more financial sense than trying to repair the problem. The experts at R&D Heating and Cooling can advise on the steps to take improve your air quality while making a decision that will save you time and money in the future.

3. Ineffective Heating and Cooling

Sometimes the symptoms of an HVAC unit that needs to be replaced is as simple as not feeling comfortable in your home or office. Maybe in the past, your heat or AC made it very easy to warm up or cool down in the appropriate seasons, but lately, you’ve felt less and less comfortable while watching your energy bills slowly increase.

This likely means that your HVAC system is working harder than before to less effect, usually because of age. When this equipment makes it past 10 to 12 years old, you’ll notice that it will start to work less efficiently, costing you more, and causing you to be less comfortable.

The team at R&D Heating and Cooling are experienced in dealing with residential and commercial HVAC equipment. If you notice one of these things happening, give us a call, and we’ll tell you definitively, whether it’s time to replace your HVAC unit.


Is your home heating system ready for winter? Here at R&D Heating and Cooling, we’ve been providing trusted HVAC maintenance and HVAC repair services throughout Pennsylvania and Delaware since 1986. We know what it takes to keep your HVAC system running reliably throughout the year, and today we’re sharing our top HVAC tips with you.

Check Your Filters

The transition from summer to fall, and on into winter means that you won’t be able to open your windows as much anymore due to falling temperatures. This means that the air you breathe will be circulated throughout your home instead of fresh air directly from outside. If you haven’t had your air ducts, filters, or HVAC coils cleaned in some time, air quality can decrease, meaning that once you close those windows, you’ll be putting your family at risk. If we had to choose the single most important thing you can do to help keep your furnace running well, it would be to clean or replace your filter. Your HVAC system filter needs to be clean in order to function properly, otherwise, airflow to your system is restricted, leading to reduced energy efficiency and even poor air quality throughout your home. In fact, it’s a good idea to check your filter every month as part of your regular HVAC maintenance routine.

Make Sure Your HVAC Is Running Efficiently

Your energy costs can skyrocket when your HVAC system starts to run less efficiently. The problem? When this happens, you probably won’t be able to tell. It pays to have an HVAC maintenance and repair specialist out to check out your system and make sure everything is working correctly.
While having an inspection and regular HVAC maintenance certainly costs money, large repairs will cost much more if systems aren’t kept in shape, and regular maintenance means that your energy bills have the potential to be as low as possible.

Clean and Adjust Your Floor Registers

Now’s a great time to check all the floor registers throughout your home to ensure they can be opened and closed (and that they will remain in the position you set them too). If any of your registers are rusty, or worse yet, missing altogether, now’s the time to replace them. While you’re checking your registers, be sure to clear a safe space around each one to both ensure proper airflow and remove any combustible materials that could pose a safety hazard. Remember, your registers should never be obstructed in any way – that means moving furniture away from floor vents.

Perform A ‘Sound Check’

Turn off all other sources of sound in your home (like your television, dishwasher, and radios) and turn your HVAC system on. Listen for any unusual noises such as squealing belts, rattling, or banging, and make note of any odd odors – these could all be signs that you need to call an HVAC repair specialist.

Consider Your Insulation

In temperate areas, most windows and doors have rubber or foam seals that prevent cold air from sneaking through the cracks in the winter. As homes age, these seals become less and less effective.Make sure that you replace rubber strips on windows and doors so that your HVAC system doesn’t have to work harder than necessary is an important step.

Look For Rust

If you spot any rusting on your HVAC unit or vent pipes, this could be a sign that your HVAC system isn’t working properly.

Keep Leaves Out of Your Outdoor Units

These days, you’ll still have warmer weather in the fall, but that won’t stop the leaves from dropping. For people with outdoor AC units, this can be a problem. Keep leaves, grass clippings, and other debris cleared well away from your outdoor heat pump, as these materials can block the airflow and lead to poor HVAC system performance.
If leaves and other debris clog up the intake area, your AC will have to work much harder to provide the same amount of comfort, causing your energy costs to skyrocket.

Consider Upgrading To A Programmable Thermostat

If you’re still using an older, dial-style thermostat to control the temperature in your home, consider upgrading to a programmable digital thermostat or even a new smart thermostat. These low-cost devices can help you save money on your home heating bills by allowing you to adjust your HVAC system to keep your home warm while you’re at home, and lowering the temperature when you’re out.

Schedule A HVAC Maintenance Appointment

For peace of mind this winter, book an appointment with one of our licensed and insured HVAC repair specialists today. We’ll inspect your system, change your filters, and identify issues that could leave you without heat.
If your existing HVAC system is more than 10 years old, you might want to consider taking advantage of our 0% financing for up to 60 months on eligible high-efficiency HVAC systems.

Contact Us Today

For more HVAC tips and information about how you can save on your home heating bills, contact us here at R&D Heating and Cooling today, and be sure to stay warm this winter!