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Furnace Upgrades To Make Your Home More Comfortable

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Your furnace is an integral part of your comfort level in winter. A basic system is all you need to keep your family warm and cozy. However, if you would like to take things a bit further, there are some ways to upgrade your HVAC system to get additional benefits from it.

Better Filtration

Furnace filters aren't there for your comfort. The filter keeps dust out of the moving parts of the furnace so they don't get worn down by the grit. A basic filter is all you need to make sure you have this job covered. However, many homeowners will use a higher quality furnace to help keep the air cleaner for breathing as well as protecting the furnace. As long as you change the filter regularly, this is a nice little boost to your indoor air quality.

The issue with these high-quality filters is that they put a big strain on your fan. It has to pull air through that tight filter, and this will only get worse as the filter starts to fill up. There is another way to have both good air filtration and avoid putting excess strain on your furnace fan. Stand alone filter systems connect to your HVAC system, but have their own fans to supplement the one in your furnace. They are also larger than your furnace filter, so they can have stronger filtration than something that fits in the slot for your basic filter.


Humidifiers are an important part of staying comfortable in the winter. As the temperature outside gets colder, the air can hold less and less water. However, the temperature inside your house stays about the same year round. Less moisture at the same temperature means dry air, cracked skin, and bloody noses.

Small, in room humidifiers are one way to fix this issue. Placed in common areas like bedrooms or your living room, they can greatly alleviate the problems of dry air. However, they only cover a small area, so you will need several of them if you want to humidify your whole house. Refilling the reservoir once or twice a day can be difficult to keep up with.

Attaching a humidifier directly to the heater is the best way to counteract this issue. The humid air will get circulated throughout your home and the unit is usually connected directly to your home's plumbing, so there is no tank that you have to keep filling. A controller makes sure your home doesn't turn into a rain forest.

Zone Based System

If you are looking for a bigger upgrade, a zone-based system might be the way to go. Rather than having a heater that is either on or off, this type of system can heat only the sections of the house that need it. This is most useful in larger homes where there is enough space for large variations in temperature.

How much work will need to go into your home to upgrade to this type of system will depend on what you already have. There are three things necessary for this type of system. First is a thermostat that can handle it, which is the easy part. Second, you need ductwork connections that can open and close. This may involve cutting into walls in order to replace key sections of ductwork (an HVAC pro can help you determine where these need to go). Finally, you need a variable rate furnace. These furnaces are useful even without a zone-based system, so you might already have one. If not, you may wish to do the rest of the work now and upgrade your furnace when the current one is ready for replacement.

Furnace upgrades are a great way to make your home a better place to live. Whether you want to add just one of these items or all of them is up to you and your budget. No matter which one you choose, you will soon be enjoying a little extra comfort this winter.