Big purchases can be a lot to think about, and when you’re making a purchase you don’t make frequently, it can be even more intimidating. However, when it comes to buying a furnace, you can simplify by considering the following 10 guidelines for making your selection.
1. System Type
There are two choices here – split or packaged systems. A split system is what people traditionally picture when they think of heating and air. However, if you live in a smaller home, a packaged system is a great way to save precious space.
Depending on the way it is constructed, different areas of a home can change temperatures at different rates. A zoning system lets you control these hot and cold spots and can aid efficiency. If you have a newer or smaller home, then a zoning system might not be right for you.
3. Air Quality in Your Home
Different furnaces have different filter options. If you have allergies or a high aversion to dust then a system with more powerful filtration options might be for you.
4. Fuel Type
There are three sources of fuel for furnaces: gas, electric, and oil. A gas furnace is the most economical choice, but not all areas have access to gas lines. An oil furnace is powerful but also dirtier and more expensive to run. An electric furnace is clean, quiet, and effective, but adds substantially to your power bill.
Remember that the furnace is only part of your purchase, as you’ll likely need to pay someone to install it. Keep the cost and ease of installation in mind when choosing between furnaces in order to stay on budget.
6. Hidden Costs
The furnace is only part of your heating system. Make sure you know how your purchase will affect your need for venting, blowers, ducts, thermostats, and other components.
You should be aware of warranty options, how much they cost, what they cover, and what the terms and conditions are. A good warranty can be a sound investment, but a bad warranty is a waste of money.
Make sure you understand how you get to the final price. If the price you see includes rebates then you won’t get that payment back for a while. In the same line of thinking, check and see if there are any rebates available to help you with your purchase.
9. Size Matters
Buying a unit that is too large to get into your home is a headache. Make sure you know the measurements not only for the space you want your furnace to operate in, but also the pathway to that space.
10. Think Long Term
Efficiency will always win out in the end. Getting the most efficient unit you can afford will help keep operating costs down and eventually more than cover the cost difference of paying for a less efficient unit.