Replacing a furnace is an unfortunate necessity for most homeowners. Furnaces work hard all winter at extreme temperatures, and often run nearly all day. It’s natural that they’ll wear out eventually.
The good news is that you won’t have to replace it again for a while if you buy the right unit – the average furnace lifespan is about 15 years, a well-made, adequate and you hire furnace cleaning services to maintain it, it could often exceed two decades of life.
Still, replacing a furnace is expensive. According to Home Advisor, it can cost an average of just under $4,000. Given how much replacing a furnace costs, you’ll want to take every precaution that you can to ensure that you get the right product for your home.
If you install the wrong kind of furnace for your home – whether by accident or because of a misguided contractor – you can end up with poor performance, skyrocketing energy bills, and a furnace that will fall well short of its expected lifespan.
So follow our guide on avoiding common furnace replacement mistakes, and make sure that your investment is protected, and making the correct choice for your specific home, climate, and preferences.
Mistake 1: Paying Attention Only To Government Efficiency Ratings
Efficiency is great – but paying attention to only the efficiency rating of a furnace is a mistake. Most furnaces use AFUE – annual fuel utilization efficiency – to determine efficiency. This measure calculates how much fuel the furnace needs in order to heat a home in a particular year.
For example, a natural gas unit that has a 90% rating would provide 90 BTUs of heat for each 100 BTUs of energy used as fuel.
While this is a useful measure of efficiency, choosing only based on efficiency is a mistake. There are a variety of other important factors that go into choosing a furnace, including:
- Insulation properties of your home
- The design of your home
- Noise levels
- Length of warranty
- Part availability
- Ease of repair
The AFUE of your unit should be taken into consideration, of course, but it’s best to consult with a professional when you choose a new unit – not to just choose one that looks similar to the one that broke.
Mistake 2: Hiring A Bad Contractor
A bad contractor can steer you in the wrong direction for your furnace needs, whether out of laziness, kickbacks from a particular country, or just ignorance of the needs of your specific home.
Look for a contractor who is registered with the Better Business Bureau, has a good local reputation and online reviews, and who provides insurance to protect your property in case of damage.
A great contractor can make the furnace replacement experience smooth as can be – by examining your home, HVAC systems, and the specifics of your needs, a contractor can help you pick out the perfect furnace for your needs, and install it quickly and easily.
Mistake 3: Buying The Wrong Unit For Your Needs
Buying a gigantic furnace that’s much more than you need is just as bad as purchasing a furnace that’s too small.
A large furnace will switch on and off more often, leading to a shorter lifespan, and can result in an uncomfortably warm home – along with a gigantic power or gas bill.
A small furnace will be overtaxed by running too long and at high intensity, which can also shorten its lifespan and increase your bills – while still not providing sufficient heat.
If you’re not an experienced HVAC technician, you should never be making the decision about what equipment to purchase alone – especially by just buying the same unit you already have.
In fact, the furnace you currently have installed might actually be the wrong size for your home – that could be one of the reasons that it failed prematurely.
If you are working with an experienced HVAC company, make sure that you get a thorough analysis of your home done, and that you work with the company to choose a recommended unit appropriate for your needs.
Mistake 4: Not Getting A Written Guarantee On Your Unit – And Its Installation
Any HVAC contractor worth their pay will offer you a written guarantee that ensures the quality of their work. Usually these warranties run from a few months up to several years.
The warranty for your furnace can be highly variable. Most high-quality, brand-name furnaces will offer warranties for parts like heat exchangers for up to 10-20 years, while other components can have limited warranties for only 1-5 years.
Make sure you understand the details of your warranties – both on your service and your unit – before you make your decision. By doing so, you can ensure protection for your new investment.
Choose The Right Furnace – And Heat Your Home, Worry-Free
When you have to go through the process of replacing your furnace, avoid these 4 common furnace replacement mistakes. If you do, you’re guaranteed to have an easier time picking the right furnace, working with the right HVAC contractor, and to buy a furnace that will last you a long time.
If you don’t avoid these common furnace replacement mistakes, you could find yourself with a unit that’s the wrong size for your home, leading to high costs, poor performance, and premature wear and tear on your unit.
So choose the right furnace, and turn up the heat – without worry or fear.