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What to Consider Buying a New Furnace

by Weng Jauod on Aug 2, 2017

It happens, in the same way, any household appliance eventually sees its last breath so does the furnace. However, it is recommended that before making the decision to spend on a new furnace to consider a few things. 

Not so fast

Do you really need a new furnace? Get a professional to come and have a look and establish whether what you’re dealing with is the need for replacement or the need for some thorough maintenance. Take into mind factors such as how efficient the furnace will be after repair and maintenance compared to a new one. This will give you an idea as to whether it's cost-effective to repair or place.

Avoid the lowest quotation.

When the lowest quotation is significantly lower than the others, avoid the contractor. There will be some differences in the quotation depending on the make and model of the furnace as well as the distance the contractor must travel to install the new furnace. A major difference in cost statistically indicates that there are more likely to be repairs and work done to poor installation when the initial cost was very low.

Consider the contractors mark-up.

Contractors make their mark up in different ways. A 95% furnace costs the contractor between $300 and $500 more. If the added cost to the mark-up is negligible then the more expensive furnace is justifiable. If the markup is massive, don’t do it. It won’t pay for itself in its lifetime.

Efficiency.

This is a tough one. The more efficient a furnace is, the more complex it will be and therefore more expensive, add to that when it breaks down it will be more expensive to repair.  A good middle ground is a 92% furnace with an ECM motor.

Ask for proposals.

Get a few different contractors to provide a proposal with everything that’s included, including the make and model of the furnace that you are being sold. This empowers you to compare the proposals and decide to surround the related costs. Ask the contractor to include any venting changes and plumbing or electrical work that will need to be done.

Choose a major brand.

Going with a major brand or one of their subsidiaries means that there will be parts available and that contractors will be familiar with the machinery. If the brand is new to you, don’t simply believe what the contractor tells you about it. Do some research and check what is being said. Ask the contractor questions. There may be a special reason why the contractor thinks a certain furnace is better for your needs. You can then follow up your research on that too.

Size of the Furnace.

In the old days, size mattered. Because of the changes in how furnaces are made and new breakthroughs in their construction, it is now very possible that the furnace your purchase will be smaller than the one you already have. Smaller furnaces can heat as well as the older large furnaces so carefully check the size and efficiency ratings of your furnace before deciding on which one to purchase. Size does still matter, except now you’ll be looking for something smaller.

Gas or electric.

You can buy a furnace to run on either gas or electricity. Economically speaking running your furnace on natural gas is the least expensive method. There are other considerations, however. Furnaces that have an electric heat pump, can double up as an air conditioner during the summer. Electric furnaces do on the whole cost more to run than their gas counterparts.

Variable speed blowers.

With a variable speed blower, your furnace will adjust the speed at which the blowers function to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the house. This increases energy efficiency and the fuel cost to run the blower. It also avoids situations where the household can get too hot, too quickly.

Consider zoning.

Homes that have thermostats in different areas of the house will be better controlled. Some areas of a house are cooler than others and with single thermostat parts of the house are likely to be either too cool or too hot. When the house is zoned, the temperature is controlled for each zone, thus controlling the need to raise or lower the heating. This is paid back in energy efficiency and again the costs will more than likely repay themselves over the years.

When considering all these factors, the single most effective thing that you can do is to ask for references or find a good HVAC contractor by word of mouth. Look up reviews in local directories and ask your friends or neighbors. Locally you may find one or more persons that recommend the same contractor.

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