Some things in life we love to spend money on – lattes, dog toys, going to the movies.
Other things we aren’t so keen to open our wallets for – like a new furnace, for example.
We rarely feel prepared, financially or in any other way, for the day our furnace gives out. Nor for the gradual, perceptible chill that begins to fill the air inside our home or office.
3 Keys to Furnace Shopping Success
There are three key pieces of information you absolutely need to know before you can pick out the right furnace to match your needs.
1. Fuel type and AFUE.
No matter what kind of great deal you get on your furnace, it is really only as great as the cost of the fuel you need to operate it.
Typically, a furnace will run on oil, gas (natural or propane) or electricity. Natural gas and electricity are the most commonly-used options here in Canada. Of the two, natural gas tends to be more economical in terms of fuel prices.
AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, is the acronym that will tell you how efficiently a given furnace model will use whatever fuel type it takes.
You will pay more up front for a high-efficiency furnace, but you may pay significantly less in energy to operate that furnace.
2. BTU for the size and shape of your space.
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. Basically, this acronym tells you how much thermal heat a furnace model can crank out per hour of use.
Calculating the BTU for your home or workplace can get complicated, especially for multi-room or multi-level spaces with uneven room sizes.
Once you know the square footage of the whole space to be heated, it is time to factor in your local heating zone, insulation quality and furnace efficiency rating.
After enough number crunching, you will know the BTU output your new furnace must provide to adequately and economically heat your space.
3. Your budget range.
It does you no good to shop for the furnace version of a Lexus if you have a Toyota budget. All this will do is cause stress, frustration and wasted time.
The best approach is to set your budget range up front – not factoring in any special payment-deferred, financing, interest-free, seasonal rebates or payment plan options.
Then, any amount you can save by taking advantage of special offers is going to feel even more rewarding. (Speaking of special offers, be sure to read to the end for an incredible deal!)
3 Furnace Bells & Whistles That Are Actually Essentials
Because furnaces are not a fun purchase to make, manufacturers, distributors and resellers try to spice up the experience by advertising high-value bells and whistles.
Don’t be fooled when you see an ad talking about “extras” like a great warranty, flexible service and repair options or even a reputable reseller. These are not bells and whistles!
These three particular essentials will make or break the value of your furnace purchase.
1. A reputable, highly rated seller.
If you’ve ever shopped online on Amazon (and who hasn’t these days?) you already know too well how many knock-off products are available at reduced rates. Sometimes these products actually turn out to be okay, but not always.
And while it probably feels fairly low-risk to take a chance on an off-brand flashlight or desk lamp, the risk escalates when it comes to a major purchase like a new furnace.
In other words, you don’t want to buy a new furnace from a fly-by-night distributor or reseller who will be gone long before any problems begin to arise.
2. A fair and reasonable warranty.
We see it over and over again – customers get sucked in by a so-called “great deal” on a new furnace, only to discover too late the warranty is paper-thin (or missing altogether).
Truth: your furnace is only as valuable as the warranty that comes with it.
You don’t want to purchase any furnace that doesn’t come with – at MINIMUM – a 10-year parts warranty and a 15-year heat exchanger warranty (lifetime is better).
3. Local maintenance and service.
If your furnace needs repairs while still under warranty, what are your options?
Do you have to jump through documentation hoops or wait on hold for hours to get your repair pre-authorized? Can you use a local HVAC company of your choosing or do you have to go through the furnace manufacturer or distributor’s narrow network?
Get in Touch With Arkansas Air Flow’s HVAC Specialists in Arkansas
Arkansas Air Flow is open and ready to serve you with safe, contactless service, invoicing and payment options.
Do you need expert guidance to choose the right new furnace for your space, needs and budget? Give our friendly, knowledgeable HVAC technicians a call at 1-501-835-1973.