Must-know tips: What to look for in a furnace before you buy one
Are you noticing a spike in your energy bills with also the temperature in your home feeling a bit off?
Have you noticed some bad smells or unusual sounds coming from your furnace?
These are signs telling you it is time to replace your furnace with a new one.
Below we highlight must-know tips before buying a new furnace and what to look out for.
In this article we will cover:
- How much is the average cost of a furnace?
- What are the additional costs when buying a furnace?
- Telltale signs your furnace needs repair or replacement
Let's get right into it!
What's the cost of a new furnace?
The cost of a new furnace can vary between $1.5k - $9.7k is the average, depending on which model you prefer.
There are also additional costs to be taken into consideration regarding the installation of the furnace.
Also, if you are upgrading to a new furnace, the cost of upgrading your chimney should be taken into account.
But, whatever steps you take, the bottom line is that a new furnace can be a cost-effective solution for you.
In addition, we are breaking down the costs (besides the installation costs) that you would probably like to be aware of.
1. Source of energy
The main sources of fuel for the furnaces are gas, electricity, and oil.
Each type of furnace runs differently, if you want to take a close look at the costs, try researching how much would it take for the furnace to operate fully under each of these options.
Don’t forget that if you want to switch the energy source itself, it may incur some additional costs too.
Also, if you are looking into the gas option, which is one of the most vastly used types of furnaces, you need to be mindful of the cost of annual maintenance, if you want to keep the optimal functioning of the furnace.
Poor maintenance of a gas furnace is something you would like to avoid at all costs!
2. Consider it efficient
A higher efficiency rating means the furnace uses the most heat that it generates.
Some of the furnaces can use about 10% of the heat towards the power to accomplish heating all the spaces in your home.
Though those furnaces that are considered to be high-efficient can cost a bit more, so going just a grade better from your old furnace to a mid-efficient new one can result in a difference in your energy bills.
3. The size of the furnace matters
Get a furnace installation company or expert to determine which furnace size will suit you best.
The determination process is made by getting a closer look at the landscape, the square footage, and the construction of your home.
The wrong size of furnace can cause various issues around the home, from insufficiency to short cycling.
4. Installation matters too
In most cases, one of the available options is buying your furnace, and then paying some additional costs for installation.
The regular installation cost is about a thousand dollars and the time frame for installing a new furnace is a day (estimated – about 10 hours).
What you need to remember in this case is that installing a new furnace is not something a regular person can do themselves.
In this case, you would need to hire certified technicians who will do the job for you!
5. Plans for warranty
Any furnace you buy usually comes with a warranty that comes directly from the manufacturer.
In addition to that, any company that would be installing your new furnace will provide you with a labor warranty too.
Even though the manufacturer warranty can last up to a decade, it is only valid if you take proper care of your furnace so, maintenance is key.
The warranty from the installers can last up to a year.
But whichever warranty you choose to stick to, make sure you have it in writing.
6. Various brands
Let’s talk brands!
American Standard, Rheem, Carrier, Lennox, Bryant, and Trane are the most popular furnace brands that you will find in Canada and USA.
If you are thinking about a gas furnace, the Ruud is also another excellent brand for you to have in mind.
Also, check for any rebates in your area, when you buy a furnace that is considered highly efficient, you may be eligible for a rebate.
We apply and do all the leg work for our customers so feel free to ask us for help.
7. Other costs
Some of the other costs that are usually not included in the equation is changing your filters.
This is a task that is supposed to be done every two to three months and some of the furnaces only need cleaning of their existing filter, which eases up the situation a lot.
But this is considered a very important action step because the clean filters mean less clogging and less work to be done around your furnace overall.
The small maintenance steps such as this one are key to keeping any major issues at bay.
Is your furnace on the verge of breaking down?
If you feel like your furnace is giving you a headache every other day, then it might be time to take some steps to change that.
Try scheduling a repair every once in a while to check if some of the issues the furnace has are repairable or not.
Some of the most common causes for a repair include:
1. Old age
As soon as you start feeling like your furnace is getting old, you should also start thinking about replacing it.
To be honest, an older furnace may have a harder time heating your entire home.
Also, the higher bills you have been receiving lately may mean your furnace is up for a change.
Some of the parts of the old furnaces might even take some more money to be replaced or repaired.
If you are looking for a way how to estimate if your furnace is ready to be replaced with a new one, look at it this way.
The furnace has been undergoing repairs more than two times in the last two years, it is time for it to be replaced.
2. Bills getting high
As we’ve already mentioned, noticing a spike in your energy bills is never a good experience, but it can be rectified.
Other than being important to change and keep the cleanliness of your filters, when it is time for the furnace to go, it is time for the furnace to go and that is that.
3. Starting to heat less
To be fair, this is the kind of problem that cannot be repaired that easily (or at all at this point).
If you start noticing that your furnace is not heating the home as it did before, it doesn’t mean that all it needs is a tune-up.
It might be the time to change it completely and get a new and more efficient one.
The thermostat can create such a problem too, in this case, the best scenario would be to call up a technician who would get things sorted out for you, let you know the cause of the issue, and whether it is worth repairing it or not.
4. Short cycle
The furnace is turning on and off more often than it should.
A larger furnace than needed can cause short cycling.
There are sensors in the home that detect the warm air and shut off immediately after detecting it (meaning the furnace is off).
Noticing the frequent turning on and off of the furnace means that the size of the furnace does not match your home, and if this is something that happens pretty often, it might lead to some serious damage to your furnace, that can even be permanent!
5. Weird noises
Banging, screeching, weird squealing noises, this one does not take much to notice, and if you are noticing some strange sounds coming out of your furnace, it is time to call a technician!
Many issues can be the cause of weird sounds, but the best way to uncover them is through the hands of a technician.
This can be anything, from parts of the furnace being loose, broken, or lost lubrication. If this is the case, your furnace will become louder or noisier and will require a furnace maintenance date, and soon.
6. Smells that worry you
Finally, this last one is considered the most annoying and terrifying one – imagine laying in your bed in the middle of the night, and a sudden strong smell fills the home like a silent terror and continues to do that, all the while your blood pressure and fear spike up!
The one thing you need to do in this case is to go to your furnace and turn it off.
Pack a bag and call a friend, and leave the home immediately.
Call a technician and explain the situation so they can fully understand the urgency of the matter and come to your home as soon as possible.
The smell can be caused by a gas leak, which is a very serious thing!
A metallic or plastic smell can mean the furnace has a wiring issue, which can very easily lead to a wire.
In any case, the first thing you need to do is turn your furnace off.
This is why people tend to make regular maintenance check-ups, to avoid any potential larger issue.
The smell of dust means that the filters are not cleaned properly, or as often as they should be, and even though this should not be that big of an issue to worry about, try cleaning them as regularly as possible.
Finally, a musty smell means there is mold somewhere in the home, and this is where a professional should be called to investigate and find the source of the horrible smell.
Make your furnace live longer
While getting a new furnace is always an exciting step, making sure that it lasts for a long period is the right thing to do.
If you manage to maintain the furnace as instructed, it is going to last about 20 to 30 years!
Just make sure to follow all general rules that apply to all furnaces out there, and make sure you are following the specific rules that apply only to your model of furnace.
Schedule repairs quickly, change and clean the air filters, get annual tune-ups and pick the right size of furnace for your home.
If you want to take another extra step towards ensuring the longevity of the furnace, proper insulation is advised.
If your home has good insulation, then the furnace will not have to work as hard and will still maintain a decent temperature, which is something that we all want.
Being comfortable in your home is always important, and making sure you are comfortable in your means you should take care of the key aspects of that.
Finding and maintaining the perfect furnace is the way to go if you have any questions about furnaces or furnace installation services feel free to call us at 416-721-7510 or chat with us on our Facebook fan page.