While purchasing and installing a new heating system isn’t cheap, there are proven strategies to help consumers find the best options for their homes.
When shopping for a furnace, remember that heating technologies are changing, so a model that was a good choice a few years ago may not be the best option today. Here are a few tips to consider when buying a new furnace.
Buy the Size that Matches Your Home’s Needs
In the past, furnace suppliers routinely recommended furnaces that were larger than they needed to be. The logic was that more BTUs would mean a home heated to the desired temperature quickly. However, that strategy hasn’t stood the test of time.
Larger furnaces produce more heat, but they tend to cycle too often, which means they don’t operate efficiently. That wasn’t a significant issue when heating fuels were cheap, but higher prices mean homeowners want systems that operate as efficiently as possible. When exploring the cost of a furnace, larger systems are also more expensive.
Today, HVAC experts recommend buying heating appliances sized to match a home’s needs. That means a furnace expert will evaluate the home’s size, the number of windows and doors, and the insulation level before recommending any heating system. When discussing a new furnace with a provider, ask how they evaluate the home to determine the correct system size.
Ask About Different Heating System Options
Once the needs of a home are determined, numerous heating system options available. Don’t base a buying decision on price alone, as that initial price is only one part of the overall cost of ownership.
Look for systems that are energy efficient to ensure future utility bills are as low as possible. In some instances, that may mean moving to a different type of system than is currently installed.
While natural gas and propane units are common, explore other options like cold-weather heat pumps that are now entering the market. Mini-split systems may also be appropriate, especially if a home doesn’t currently have a duct system installed. Evaluate the total cost of ownership of all options before deciding which heating system to purchase.
Consider Models with Rebates or Other Incentives
Manufacturers frequently offer special incentives when introducing new models or discontinuing older ones. Ask about any pricing incentives available when making a buying decision.
Also, ask about any tax breaks that may be available when upgrading a home heating system. In some instances, suppliers will offer financing with low interest rates to attract buyers. Explore all the financing options when deciding which heating system to purchase.
Look for a Top-Rated Installer
Even the best furnace won’t deliver optimal results if the installation isn’t handled correctly. When shopping for a new heating system, look for an installer that’s experienced in installing the type of system being purchased.
Buyers may have to pay a little more for top-shelf installers, but the investment is justified. Ask for referrals and check them out before committing to a specific installer.
Timing is Always Important
Having a new heating system installed during the coldest months of the year may be necessary, but avoid that need when possible. Try to schedule an installation before or after the coldest weather. Installers aren’t as busy, the process is more convenient during warmer weather, and the total cost may be lower.