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First Four Steps: What to Do When Your Furnace Needs Help

 buying a furnace - what to know

Okay, so your furnace is getting old and tired. You’ve tried changing your filter, cleaning your flame sensor, and all the other do-it-yourself furnace hacks to get your furnace running—but it looks like your furnace is still struggling. Now, you’re looking at either a major repair or an investment in a new system to get your home and freezing family warm again. What do you do? Where do you even begin? How do you know what is the best decision?

It can seem overwhelming but it doesn’t need to be! With a little information, you can be an educated homeowner who can hone in on exactly what you need out of a furnace repair or replacement bid.

Step 1: Breathe
Don’t go into this decision in crisis mode; as you start searching for an HVAC company to call, remind yourself that you are in charge. First, take a moment to ask yourself a few questions. What matters to you? What do you want out of your HVAC guy? How important are warranties? Does it matter whether it’s a local company? Do you want a two-guy operation or a larger company? Is price the most important consideration? Are you willing to spend more to get a better warranty with a well-established company that will be around for years to come?

buying a furnace - what to know

Step 2: Check Ratings
Make sure that you have checked online ratings for any company you call, big or small. Eliminate some of the guesswork out of getting a quality customer service experience by letting the ratings do the talking. This can help you safely eliminate some of the companies on the list, as well as give you some great options to choose from.

buying a furnace - what to know
Step 3: Get a Bid
When your HVAC company offers you a bid on a new furnace, abort the transaction if they either want to give you a quote over the phone, or if the technician comes to your home and casually offers you a quote without doing a thorough inspection. Your technician should use what’s called a Manual J load calculation to find out what size (heat input) and capacity (airflow requirement) is best for your home. This calculation takes into account the amount of windows and doors you have in your home and whether they are single, double, or triple pane, the number of occupants, the square footage, ceiling heights, insulation quality, ductwork sizing and leakage—even things like whether your home is covered in brick or siding will make a difference. Buying a furnace that is too big or small for your needs could result in higher heating costs and premature burn-out of your new furnace. Make sure your technician is taking everything into account when he makes his calculation. If not, chances are good you won’t wind up with the right size furnace in your home. The most important day in the life of a furnace is the day of installation so if you’re starting with the wrong furnace, there could be issues for years to come.

Next, as part of your bid, good companies will give you a comprehensive quote that includes the unit they feel is right for your home and the cost of installation. Excellent companies will give you a comprehensive quote that not only includes installation but gives you three or four options to choose from—from repair to replacement—in different price ranges. Don’t settle for just one option! 

buying a furnace - what to know

Step 4: Get A Second Opinion
Regardless of whether you feel good about your initial bid, it’s never a bad idea to get a second opinion from an equally reputable company with professionally-trained HVAC technicians and installers, high customer ratings, and a history of quality craftsmanship and high service standards. Don’t trust this 15-20 year investment to just anyone! You see, getting multiple opinions helps show you the price between the numbers. It gives you a couple of different price quotes, sure, but what it also does is help you find the company you feel most comfortable doing business with. When you have different companies in your home, do you feel that one will take better care of you? Examine the price and the product, but also make sure to examine whether you feel this is a company that will take care of you for the life of your purchase.

buying a furnace - what to know

Posted: January 5th, 2018 @ 12:00am by tammy