Desert-dwelling Phoenicians may not have a lot of experience with buying furnaces, but January nights can dip down to the low 40s, says RSS Weather, and during those times you will be glad you have the best residential furnace you can get. Except… which one is best? 

How to Decide On the Best Residential Furnace

If you’re looking for advice when it comes to choosing the right furnace for your home, continue reading.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Howard Air - Best Residential Furnace: How to Decide

A furnace needs to be properly sized for its particular home. Simply replacing an existing unit with one of comparable heat output is not good enough. The best residential furnace for an Arizona home today may be much smaller than the one it replaces, thanks to advances in energy efficiency. Some considerations:

Your HVAC contractor should use the ACCA Manual J to calculate heat load.

High-efficiency, modern furnaces can extract up to 98.7 percent of the heat from a given fuel.

Howard Air - Best Residential Furnace: Heat Source

Heat source

Biomass, natural gas, propane or electricity all can be used to power your system and heat the air, though natural gas generally outranks the others.

Howard Air - Best Residential Furnace: Ductwork


Existing ductwork may have to be altered to accommodate a new furnace and achieve correct system balance.

Howard Air - Best Residential Furnace: Installation


Buying a 95 percent AFUE heating plant and then getting a poor installation from an incompetent HVAC contractor could rob you of up to 15 percent of your efficiency; get expert installation from a local, reliable installer.


A furnace’s efficiency is measured in Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE), and the closer this number approaches 100, the more efficient your unit. With higher efficiency comes higher initial cost, so you have to consider the tipping point where extra efficiency is not worth the extra money. 

Phoenix is in the southern tier of U.S. states, meaning the federal Energy Star program requires our area’s furnaces to be at least 90 percent . The best residential furnaces for our area will be at least this efficient, but your home probably will not benefit from the much more expensive 98.7 percent AFUE system. 

Trusted Advice

Your best strategy for selecting the best residential furnace for your Phoenix home is to get advice you can trust from the heating contractor you have used for regular inspection and maintenance of your existing system.

See also: My Furnace is Not Blowing Air

Who to Trust with Your New Furnace Purchase

Buying a new heating system can be confusing. Contact Howard Air to speak with an experienced heating representative. We can work with you to select the best furnace for your home, budget and needs. We can also help service your furnace and make repairs.