Tips from the pros for buying a new furnace
BY World Special Publications
Monday, October 29, 2012
Heating bills soon will be on the rise. To lower costs, the best place to look is, of course, at the furnace.
“When I talk to people who are experiencing higher-than-expected heating bills, they are always surprised when they think back to how old their furnace actually is,” said David Coulson of Napoleon Fireplaces. “For furnaces 10 to 15 years old, you are looking at older, inefficient technology that is sucking the money right from your wallet. If you are looking to replace an older one it’s really important to educate yourself before buying, as choosing the right furnace will save you money in the long run and keep the house at the perfect temperature.”
New technology of course brings new advances that would have never been possible 10 years ago. For instance, you can purchase a triple fuel hybrid furnace that automatically switches from wood to oil or electric to heat the room and in a power failure the furnace is designed to use gravity flow for emergency heating.
Coulson suggested the following tips for people looking into a new furnace for their home:
1. Size matters — One of the most important factors when buying a furnace is to have a professional installer examine the size of the house and then determine the size of the furnace necessary for the space. A furnace that is too large leaves gaps in temperature as it turns on until it overwhelms the thermostat. The house ends up cooling down until the next cycle and creates an inconsistent temperature. A furnace that is the right size for the space will be able to better regulate a constant temperature.
2. Fewer emissions — Being energy and environmentally conscious does not have to stop at the furnace. The triple fuel furnace is one of the cleanest and most efficient combination solid fuel-burning furnaces on the market today. The furnace switches from wood to oil or electric automatically and if the furnace runs out of wood a second thermostat will keep the house nice and toasty even if you are not at home.
3. Don’t buy on price alone — Always be sure to ask a professional installer, contractor or reputable salesperson about annual operating costs for whatever furnaces you may be looking at. While there are a variety of factors to consider, price should not necessarily be No. 1. Efficiencies, however, can vary drastically depending on price, which means that if you pay more up front now, you’ll still enjoy lower heating bills 10 or 15 years later.
4. Get the right documentation — Any reputable installer or manufacturer will be sure to not only include the purchase agreement and warranty information but also explain exactly what you are getting. If you feel confused or unsure about anything don’t be afraid to ask.
5. Correct installation and maintenance — Furnace installation should be done by a trained professional as not only can it be a safety hazard but if anything is off it can severely impact your efficiency and therefore your heating bill. Regular maintenance, generally in the fall, will keep the furnace performing like it should, keeping your family warm and your wallet a little fuller.
Above all, Coulson recommends that anyone looking to replace an old, inefficient furnace first explore all of their options and consult with a professional manufacturer or installer to find the right fit for their home.
Select a furnace that is the right size for your living space so it can regulate a constant temperature. Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock