There’s an old expression that “when it’s raining outside it’s not the best time to have your roof fixed”. The same thinking works for a new furnace. The dead of winter is not the best time to buy a new furnace because HVAC technicians are busy fixing homes that are out of heat. A little planning goes a long way when it comes to replacing your furnace. Here’s how you can stay ahead of the game:
Determine how old your existing furnace is. That may be a bit tricky but some Google searches of your furnace’s serial number may help you identify the date your unit was built. Manufacturers keep good records of model number releases along with product numbers.
Get a tune up: If you’re concerned you may need a new furnace, first get a tune up. A professional will not only check your furnace, they’ll determine it’s efficiency as well as its life estimate. You should also review old heating bills and figure out what it’s costing you to heat your home. A new furnace may be more efficient and could help lower fuel costs, which means the savings may help cover new furnace costs.
Weatherproof your home: A new, more efficient furnace will not necessarily deliver the savings you want if you have leaky windows, poor insulation and missing weather stripping around your doors. You will end up heating your house and then watching the heat (and savings) disappear. Oh yes, close your fireplace’s chimney flu until you have your next fire. People forget, and a lot of heat escapes this way.
If you do indeed need a new furnace, keep these things in mind:
Ask about size. The furnace should be sized to fit your heating needs as well as installed by a professional company. Too small (to offer you a cheap price) may never work well over the long run. Too large and you’ll be buying more than you need.
Get multiple quotes. If you like the idea of getting multiple quotes, here are the things you should consider in the process:
In this day and age it can be a long and confusing process with a LOT of technical stuff discussed that may not make any sense to you.
- First take a good look at the company you currently have a relationship with. Do you trust them? If so, stick with them.
- If you feel a strong need to check pricing with another contractor, you may just be comparing an apple to an orange if they are not reputable or trustworthy.
- Some contractors like to center their sales presentation around equipment as if there’s nothing else to look at. Don’t fall for that. It’s much more than that.
- Equipment is equipment. It has little to NO impact on the company that will install your new system
More important than the quote is how your contractor does business.
- Are they reliable?
- Are they drug free?
- What programs do they have in place that are of value to me?
- Do they offer maintenance plans? If so, how much do the cost?
- How are their online reviews?
- Do they respond to negative ones? If so, how?
- Is your contractor going to fulfill their commitment now and in the future? If so, how?
Remember, cheaper isn’t better. There is a lot that goes into a well-running service organization. Find a contractor that will make that COMMITMENT to you and your family. You want a “partner” in this process – a partner who will be there now and in the future when you need them.
So, make a wise decision by making a wise plan first. Don’t forget that many HVAC dealers are less busy during different parts of the year, so ask them when a good time is to install your new furnace.