The purchase and installation of a new furnace is a big investment and a big decision. Homeowners in Colorado and Wyoming have many options, and knowing some basic information before you start shopping can save you a lot of headaches down the road. Here are the top 6 mistakes people make when purchasing a new furnace:
1. Ignoring AFUE & Energy Efficiency
AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) is the rating that shows how energy efficient a furnace is. While the highest rated (most efficient) furnaces cost more up front, choosing one with a low AFUE rating will cost you more every month in higher utility bills. Look for a rating of 17 or higher to potentially save you 50% on your energy bills, compared to older or less efficient models.
2. Not Taking Advantage of Rebates
Rebates for high-efficiency furnaces are often available from the government and the manufacturer. These rebates can make an expensive unit affordable, and allow you to purchase a more efficient unit than you thought you could, based on your budget. Don’t miss out on these savings!
3. Only Getting One Estimate
Prices can vary greatly, even among reputable HVAC contractors. It pays to get several estimates on the purchase and the installation fees.
4. Going for the Lowest Price
A low cost furnace may seem like a good deal in the short time, but over time it will cost you much more in higher energy bills. Be sure to consider the savings you’ll enjoy over the life of your furnace with a more efficient model, even if it costs a few hundred dollars more initially.
Similarly, don’t choose your contractor solely on price. The quality of your furnace installation is critical to the long-term performance of your furnace. Spending money on a new furnace only to skimp on the installation cost, risking poor quality work, will most likely end up costing you more in the future. This could also prevent your furnace from ever working properly.
5. Buying a Furnace that is Too Big or Small
Furnaces are designed to work based on the size and layout of your home. A furnace that is too big will not be more effective, and a furnace that is too small will not be less expensive to operate. The wrong size unit is more likely to break down sooner and more often and use more energy (higher monthly bills) while not properly or consistently heating your home. Make sure your HVAC professional does a load calculation to determine the correct furnace for your home.
6. Not Verifying Your Contractor’s Reputation & Expertise
Before you settle on a contractor be sure to do your homework. Get recommendations from friends or family, read reviews, and check the company’s record of service complaints with the Better Business Bureau. Ask about the technician’s certifications and ongoing training. Be sure to get a detailed written contract that spells out all the installation details, and get all your questions answered satisfactorily before signing.