No matter why you have decided to buy a new furnace, here are some important tips.
- Make sure you are working with a reputable company. They will:
a. Provide proof of insurance
b. Provide a detailed, written estimate
c. Provide a computerized load calculation to ensure you get the right size furnace
d. Provide references
e. Be validated by the Better Business Bureau or similar entity
f. Require full payment only after installation is completed
- Efficiency. Efficiency is measured by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). In areas like Chicago’s North Shore that have cold winters, you would want a unit with 90% AFUE or more. Over time, the utility cost savings should more than offset the additional cost of the unit.
- Two-stage valve unit. These control the flow of fuel so the unit runs high when first turned on, providing quicker heat. Then it lowers the flow to maintain the temperature.
- Variable speed. Variable speed motors ensure your home receives the right amount of heat to keep your home comfortable. They also help control humidity, improving indoor air quality. Variable speed motors also use less energy than standard motors. They may also be quieter.
- Sealed combustion. This prevents toxic and potentially lethal carbon monoxide from entering.
- Warranty. Look for a furnace that offers a long-term warranty on the heat exchanger (at least 10 years) and a 5-year warranty on other components.
- Programmable thermostat. Some furnaces may come with programmable thermostats. If not, consider purchasing one. They can deliver maximum comfort, efficiency and energy savings.