You count on your heating system to keep you warm all winter long without costing a fortune. That’s why it’s important to do your homework before buying a furnace. After all, a several-thousand-dollar investment that’s expected to last nearly two decades doesn’t make for an easy do-over. As you start researching your options, take the following points into consideration.
- Size: Furnaces come in various sizes because homes have different heating needs. The last thing you want is an undersized furnace that can’t keep up with heating demand during Michigan’s frigid winters. However, you also don’t want the furnace to be too big, since bigger units cost more. They also cycle on and off more frequently. This increases wear and tear, reducing the system’s lifespan, and doesn’t provide even heating throughout your home. When buying a furnace, make sure you opt for a contractor who sizes the system correctly.
- Efficiency: Compare furnace efficiency ratings when considering different models. Furnace efficiency is reflected by a model’s Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. The highest-rated furnaces – some nearly 100 percent efficient – are condensing gas furnaces. Consider this type for maximum comfort and low heating bills during Michigan’s harsh winters. Other features, such as a variable-speed air handler, boost efficiency even more.
- Tax incentives: Remember, you can qualify for $150 in federal tax credits by choosing a furnace rated at 95 AFUE or higher. This opportunity expires on Dec. 31, 2013, so have the purchase and installation completed before then. (It also applies retroactively to eligible purchases in 2012.)
- Contractor estimates: Don’t settle on the first contractor who comes along, even if they use proper equipment sizing techniques and offer high-efficiency equipment. Instead, seek out estimates from several HVAC contractors so you know you’re getting quality service and the best equipment at a reasonable price.
- NATE-certified technicians: North American Technician Excellence, or NATE, is an organization that trains and tests technicians at the highest level of industry competence. NATE-certified techs are the most knowledgeable in the industry. Don’t settle for anything less when deciding who should install your new furnace.
For more information about buying a furnace, please contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. We proudly serve Grand Traverse County residents.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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