Investing in a new home heating system is a big decision. You'll be living with your new furnace for up to 20 years, and the decisions you make now will impact how much money you spend on heating costs and how comfortable your home is during that time. In this article you'll learn how to determine if now is the time to buy a new furnace, how to select the right furnace and how to ensure that your new home heating system will fit your needs.
What You Need to Know Before Buying a New Furnace
There are a number of factors that help determine if you need a new furnace from, Just In Time Furnace Inc. It can be difficult to sort through all the information, especially if you've never purchased a furnace before.
Before writing a check and signing a contract with a home heating contractor, follow these tips:
- Research on your own. It may be tempting to call a couple of contractors to get bids for a new furnace, but you should first familiarize yourself with some home heating options. Review furnace brand ratings and reviews for information like durability, number of repairs and cost.
- Assess your needs. Ask yourself why you need a new furnace and what you want in a heating system. A contractor is going to ask similar questions to help determine what type of options to offer you. Get a jump on him by figuring out what options you might be interested in.
- Make a plan and budget. Decide how much you're willing to invest and when you want to have the work done. You may also want to consider additional feature options, such as adding air conditioning or indoor air quality options like air filtration systems.
These tips will help you make an informed decision about whether to go forward with a new furnace purchase and prepare you for the expense and the process.
How to Select the Right Contractor
With any home improvement or construction project, hiring the right contractor for the job is important. Besides the basic steps like getting multiple estimates and checking references, you should also keep the following recommendations in mind:
- Don't hire the lowest bidder. Cheaper is not always better. A contractor who is willing to work for pennies on the dollar may also be willing to cut corners. What you save on installation may end up costing you much more in repairs for faulty work.
- Ask for proposals rather than bids. A proposal is designed to explain to you what the contractor plans to do and how he's going to do it. It will give specific details about the furnace and also explain what additional work like plumbing, electrical or duct work will cost.
- Make sure your duct work will also be checked at installation. You could buy the most impressive furnace on the market, but if your duct work and venting aren't functioning properly you'll end up with problems anyway.
What to Consider Before Selecting Your Furnace
There are many home heating systems on the market to choose from. Selecting the unit that best fits your needs requires you to ask yourself the following questions:
- How long do you plan to be in your home? If you're planning to move on in the next five years or less, a basic model that meets the minimum requirements for your house will do the trick. If you are going to settle in for the long haul, you may want to make some specific choices about special features preferences.
- How technologically savvy are you? Thermostat programming is very important to how well your furnace suits your preferences. New technologies have made thermostats fairly user friendly, but it's important that you understand how it works and how to program it.
- Is air conditioning important to you? The most cost efficient time to install air conditioning is when you're installing a new furnace. If you want to add it, now is the time.
- How important are heating bill savings to you? Efficiency levels of furnaces vary widely. To help determine what type of savings potential you want to invest in, Natural Resources Canada offers tips for calculating savings for your heating options.
Your furnace is the most expensive and important piece of equipment in your home. With these tips you'll be better able to make an educated decision about how to ensure your level of comfort in your home and how to avoid costly repairs in the future while saving money long-term.