In many ways, Canada’s extreme autumns and winters define us. What would we be without our beloved hockey game, our cold-harvested maple syrup, or our fashionably functional toques? Winter will always have a special place in our hearts, but not in our homes! An efficient and functioning furnace is crucial to our love of the Great White North. Fortunately, there’s a wealth of information, to safely guide you away from common pitfalls and towards a clearer understanding of your home heating needs. A little research can yield a lot of savings and comfort down the road.
Here’s a no-fail, new furnace buyer’s guide to help you make the most of the great indoors.
When it comes to home heating decisions, think F-U-R-N-A-C-E.
Factors to consider when starting the process include age (not yours but your furnace’s). It’s hard to say when you should replace your furnace but consider 15 years as a general rule of thumb. If your furnace is getting ‘up there’ in age, it may be a good idea to replace it even if you say, “it’s working fine.” You wouldn’t want to be using your original flip-phone or old microwave, even if they appeared to be “working fine.” You realize that, over time, many things like furnaces improve in quality, efficiency, and effectiveness without necessarily getting more expensive. New, high-efficiency furnaces produce a lot more than warmth, they can generate significant savings on your energy bills, compared to older units. Even though high-efficiency furnaces may appear to be costly at first, they could be saving you real money over time. What’s more, they require less energy to operate, making them better for the environment!
Today’s furnaces run on one of three energy sources.
- Gas furnaces or natural gas furnaces are clean, and typically, the most economical choice. This option requires gas lines to be installed, which may or may not be practical in your home.
- Propane or oil furnaces require more space for fuel storage and can be more costly due to rising oil prices. This option is not as clean as natural gas.
- Electric heating is widely available to most home-owners but can be very costly.
- Heat pumps also run on electricity but do so more efficiently while acting as an air conditioner during the warm weather months.
Try to get the most efficient furnace that your budget will allow. Moving forward, you may want to keep your heating and cooling systems separate or, you might be able to afford a space-saving, combined unit. Speaking of costs, think about the causes of your rising energy bills. Is your older furnace an energy hog? Is it secretly in need of furnace repair or will it be in the future? Perhaps you need to make a proactive decision now to avoid costly surprises in the future.
‘U’ is all about you. When it comes to your home comfort, what are your specific needs and realities? Home insulation, climate, fuel options (natural gas, oil, electric), budget, and more need to be identified and considered before determining which furnace type, size, and brand are right for your home. Rest assured, there is a wide range of furnaces available to suit all possible needs. Once you’ve done your homework, you ought to connect with a professional to ensure you’re not missing anything. Here is one situation where a simple phone call will not suffice. A qualified contractor will need to visit your home to professionally and accurately calculate and assess your unique home comfort requirements.
Reliability is a crucial consideration in your decision. Read reviews on various systems and installers. Use a certified professional to provide and install your furnace to reduce the risk. Remember, the unit, the installation and the operation of your furnace should not be your problem. Ensure that you have something between ‘ten-year’ to ‘lifetime’ coverage on your parts and your heat exchanger. The installation of your furnace should be the beginning of your relationship with these companies, not the end.
New rebates, financing offers, and incentives are always happening and always changing. Become a student of these by checking government websites, manufacturer websites, heating company websites, and by conducting regular online searches. The time to discover and act upon these financial incentives is before you purchase or install your home heating system. Stay current with the ‘news’ in this area to ensure you get the biggest bang for your buck.
Ask people with experience to tell you their stories. Neighbours share more with you than your location. They have experience with D.I.Y. nightmares, different contractors, and various brands. Why learn from your mistakes when you can learn from theirs? You will be having a relationship with your new furnace for many years. Make sure it’s a warm relationship.
Contractors are here to help. Finding a company that fits your specific needs doesn’t have to be a chore. Online reviews are helpful but not always authentic. Friends and neighbours can also influence your decision but don’t let them make your decision for you. Remember to consider organizations that can help you ensure you’re choosing a company that is fully insured, licensed, certified, and will be ‘there for you’, now and in the future. They will stand by you through the entire process.
Easy does it. The idea of installing a new furnace can be daunting. Relax, you now have easy access to organizations that have the knowledge, coverage, and network to remove the uncertainty and increase your peace of mind. When it comes to making the right decision, you’re getting warmer!
Call Smile HVAC
If you need help with furnace installation or repair, feel free to call Smile HVAC. Our technicians have extensive experience with all HVAC appliances. Call us at 437-777-4555 or book an appointment using the button below.
When the furnace is turned on after a certain period, whether it be days, weeks or months, turning on the system does not mean that