Are you gifting yourself a high-efficiency furnace in 2018?
The best way to increase comfort while decreasing utility bill expenses is to make an upgrade to your heating and cooling system.
That being said, the process of buying a new HVAC system can feel a bit daunting. After all, they are not an everyday purchase. Since we are currently in the throes of the heating season, we’re going to talk about gas furnaces right now. Here are some things you would be wise to keep n mind while searching for the right furnace for your home.
- Efficiency. If you want a snapshot into the performance benefits of the new unit you’re buying – consider the efficiency rating. Furnace efficiency is measured with a percentage called the “Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency” or “AFUE”. The higher the AFUE percentage, the more efficient the equipment. For example, a 96% AFUE gas furnace will convert 96% of the fuel you put into it into useful heating power for your home. Furnaces over 90% AFUE are considered “condensing” models.
- Sizing. Did you know why it is so important for your contractor to come over to your house before giving you a quote for a new system? Your home is unique – you are going to have certain requirements that don’t necessarily fit into a predetermined package. Sizing is one of those factors that is going to be specific to your home. Different sized homes need different sized equipment; however, square footage is not the only factor that determines the size of your heating equipment. Your contractor will take into account your home’s insulation, the number of rooms you have, your windows and more.
- Rebates and Financing. Afraid that you can’t afford the efficiency you want? Make sure to ask your contractor about current promotions and financing options. For example, a manufacturer rebate could bring the price of a high-efficiency furnace down to a point that is within your budget.
- IAQ Additions. Your heating and air conditioning equipment is your first, and main, line of defense against poor indoor air quality. Don’t forget to ask your contractor about IAQ additions (such as whole-home humidifiers, UV light systems or air cleaners).
- Maintenance Agreements. Annual maintenance is the best way to make sure your new equipment runs smoothly year after year. In fact, many manufacturers require maintenance as part of the warranty. A great way to make sure you never miss a maintenance appointment is to ask your contractor about a maintenance agreement. This way, you will be sure to get your cooling equipment checked every spring and your heating equipment checked every fall.
- Paperwork. Make sure you keep all of the paperwork that came with your equipment and was given to you buy your contractor. This way you are covered for the future should anything happen.
- Warranty. Is it your responsibility to register your warranty? Does your contractor take care of it? Make sure you ask your contractor about who registers your equipment for warranty coverage. Most manufacturers have an “out-of-the-box” warranty and a longer warranty that goes into effect after a piece of equipment is registered.
Ultimately, the most important thing you are going to do is choose the right contractor for the job. It is worth your time to research your local contractors. Here are a few red flags to look for when you are searching for a contractor.
- Quotes over the phone
- Little to no presence on the web
- No credible recommendations
- Gives you a quote before visiting your home
Need a good starting off point? Visit the Maytag local contractor finder.