Many people make the mistake of waiting until their furnace breaks down before replacing it. They know their furnace is old, may be running rough and costs more in gas and electricity to run than it used to. However, some people decide they’ll just wait until their furnace stops working before purchasing a new one. On the surface, budget wise, it seems to be a good idea to wait. However, let’s think this through.
On a standard Fall day, your furnace doesn’t need to work very hard to keep your home warm. Even if it isn’t operating properly or doing a great job, you may not even notice. You may think it is just fine. However, when winter approaches and the temperature drops, your furnace will need to work at its top capacity in order to keep your house warm in the freezing temperatures. It will be running long and hard to ensure the house temperature matches the temperature you’ve set your thermostat to. It may be running constantly trying to keep up.
This is when your furnace breaks down. This is the day you’ve been waiting for, and dreading.
What are some of the reasons why you waited? Were you thinking:
1. Mine is the only furnace that will break down today so there will be lots of technicians available. I can just pick up the phone and a new furnace will arrive that very same day.
The first few weeks of cold weather are the busiest time of year for the HVAC industry because this is the time older furnaces are put to the test and this is the time when they fail the most. Installation Teams are working overtime just to try and keep up. However, they can only do so many installations in one day.
How will you and your family keep warm, especially on cold nights, while waiting for your new furnace to be installed?
2. It will be really easy to pick the furnace model I want.
Do you want a Single Stage, 2 Stage or a Modulating furnace? Do you want a furnace with a Variable fan speed?
Your furnace will be with you for the next decade or two so you want to make sure it’s the right one for your needs. Do you really have time to take a crash course in furnace technology and the different models (and available rebates) when you and your family are without heat?
3. The installation should be really easy and fast. There’s nothing new in my furnace room. They can simply remove the old furnace and pop in a new one.
If the vent pipes are black, this is a key indicator that your HVAC contractor will need to upgrade them to meet building code which is mandatory with new, high-efficient furnace installations. This could be a challenge if your basement is finished and the new venting has to run through a finished ceiling.
Also, have you been using your basement area as storage space? You may find it necessary to move some shelves and boxes in order to create a clear walkway so the HVAC technicians have the physical space to uninstall, remove and carry out your old furnace and bring in a new furnace.
Along with the considerations above, there are a few more questions to think about:
1. Do you know what SIZE of furnace you need?
A properly sized furnace is critical to the overall temperature comfort of your home and also for the furnace’s longevity. If your furnace is oversized for your home, it will not be working as designed and this could result in it breaking down prematurely.
The furnace size is indicated by its BTU output which identifies the amount of heat the furnace must be capable of generating in order to warm your home efficiently through all types of weather. When your home was originally designed, the proper BTU output of the furnace was calculated based upon multiple factors such as the size and number of windows, duct design, insulation factors and square footage.
Does your home still need the same size furnace? Over the years, some homeowners renovate their homes to add on rooms and the furnace size may need to be adjusted to take into account these additions. The furnace size may also need to be adjusted for other upgrades that affect the efficiency of the home such as adding insulation or upgrading windows and doors. Our Metro Air Home Comfort Advisors are experts in determining the proper furnace sizing for your home. Call us for a free in-home estimate.
2. Do you need a new thermostat?
Most 10-15-year-old thermostats aren’t compatible with the advanced functions of today’s high efficient furnaces. Using an old thermostat with a new furnace is like having a basic on/off switch for a light fixture that has dimming and color capabilities. With an old thermostat, you won’t be able to take advantage of all your new furnaces features.
3. Do you need a new humidifier or air cleaner?
This is the time to look at all the equipment currently attached to your furnace and determine if it still working and if it should be replaced. You should also be looking at any indoor air quality improvements that can be made. Tip: You can always get better pricing when more than one piece of equipment is installed during the same visit.
4. Is your air conditioner the same age as your furnace? Is it going to damage the furnace?
Many people don’t realize there is a 2nd component to air conditioners, an “A-Coil” which is installed in the duct directly above your furnace. This A-Coil has a drip tray and a tube to drain excess condensation. Over the years, without maintenance, the drain tube could become blocked and cause the drip tray to overflow into the furnace and damage the electronics inside. Nobody wants that to happen to your new furnace so you should also consider replacing your Air Conditioner & A-Coil.
With so many variables to consider with a product that you rely upon to keep you and your family warm and comfortable for years to come, it may be more prudent to be pro-active and choose to have a new furnace installed when you can take your time to choose the furnace model that best meets your needs, budget and schedule.
We understand that buying a new furnace isn’t something you do every day and our trained Home Comfort Advisors would be happy to meet with you in your home to answer your questions and help you choose the best model for you. No rush, no panic – just a comfortable experience so you get the best furnace for your home.