Buying a new furnace? Here are 10 things to keep in mind
Your furnace might seem like it’s working just fine right now, or the last time you used it, but Murphy’s Law dictates that as soon as the worst of winter rolls around, your furnace conks out.
That’s why, with Canada’s harsh winters, the last thing you want is an old furnace that simply can’t make it until spring. If you’re thinking of buying a new furnace before winter hits, here are some important things to consider before making your final choice:
1. Choose the fuel type that works best for you and your home
While you can choose a furnace that runs on electricity, natural gas, oil or propane, the truth is, the best fuel type is the one that works best for your home. If you don’t have a gas line, a gas furnace might not make as much sense as another fuel option. An electric-powered heat pump, which transfers heat from one air source to another, tends to be the most economical if you don’t have natural gas, but it’s best to speak with a Home Comfort Advisor about what makes the most sense for your needs.
2. High efficiency saves energy – and money
Did you know that the latest high-efficiency furnaces can save you up to 40% off your fuel bill compared to older less efficient heating systems? To decide whether it’s worth replacing your old furnace for a more efficient one, even if what you have seems to be working fine, you’ll want to figure out how efficiently your furnace performs in the middle of the season. A good rule of thumb is to determine how much more money a lower efficiency furnace is going to cost in the long run. If it takes at least ten years for the cost to reach the break-even point, a higher efficiency furnace – one with a 95% efficiency rating or more – while costlier initially, could save you money over the long term.
Higher-efficiency furnaces also operate more quietly and they’re better for the environment because they use less energy.
3. Output capacity – more isn’t always better
While it may seem that the more BTUs a furnace puts out, the better it is for you, this is not the case. Before purchasing a new furnace, consider the area you need heated. If you buy a furnace with a much higher output than you actually need, it will not operate as efficiently – it may put more wear on component parts, burn out sooner, waste energy and can impact your home comfort by creating uncomfortable hot and cold spots in your home. A trained Reliance Home Comfort™ Advisor can perform a heat loss analysis, to tell you exactly what size heating system you really need.
4. Installation quality – choose experts you can trust
The furnace brand you buy is important, to be sure, but it’s only part of the story. In fact your furnace installation can greatly affect the performance and reliability of your equipment. That’s why using an experienced, certified technician to install your new heating system is vitally important. So is relying on a company like Reliance™, which stands behind its products and services with concrete guarantees. At the end of the day, you’ll get a furnace the way it’s designed to work, with fewer headaches down the road.
5. Save additional dollars with rebates and incentives
Ask Reliance or your local expert whether the furnace you’re considering qualifies for any current utility or government energy incentives and rebates. An advisor will also be able to help you understand and navigate the sometimes multi-faceted rebate process.
6. Free estimates – you don’t need to pay for an opinion
There’s no reason to pay any upfront costs until you’re sure a home services company has the products and services you want. Make sure to choose a home comfort provider that offers free in-home consultations. Always put you, your family, your home’s needs and your peace of mind first when choosing professionals and the products that go into your home.
7. Helping the environment (and your utility bills)
Higher-efficiency furnaces don’t just help reduce utility bills. They can positively impact the environment by using less energy and in the process producing less harmful emissions.
8. Regular maintenance may extend the life of your equipment
Maintaining your furnace and keeping it running efficiently also goes a long way to help the environment and can even extend the life of your equipment. Check your air filter – clogged filters can affect air flow which can impact efficiency. And, as a rule, call in professionals for regular maintenance once a year to make sure you’re never left out in the cold.
9. Pets, asthma or allergies? Indoor air quality is paramount
Indoor air quality products include everything from humidifiers and HRVs (Heat Recovery Ventilator) to air purifiers and air filtration systems, all of which are helpful to keep the air you breathe at home cleaner and your furnace working properly. Review your filter manufacturer’s recommendations and replace filters as suggested – even more frequently if you have pets or severe allergies. And have your ducts cleaned regularly and book annual furnace maintenance to ensure everything is working properly.
10. Zoning systems – a smart way to achieve desired temperatures
Zoning systems help tailor the temperature in larger homes by controlling area heating and cooling with separate thermostats. Depending on the size of your home – and if your comfort needs – a zoning system may be right for you. It can also help save on energy consumption by ensuring the right amount of energy is being used in the right place.
Have questions? Need suggestions? Contact us today to learn more about how Reliance can help you choose a heating system that satisfies all your home comfort needs.