Purchasing a High-Efficiency Furnace
If your current furnace is frequently breaking down or giving you problems, this may be a sign that it’s ready for replacing, especially if your current unit is older (more than 10-15 years). Continuing to repair it obviously makes sense for a period of time, especially if the issues are minor, but may cost you more in the long run.
A new furnace should perform better, be more energy efficient, and will be covered under warranty for many years. Be sure to look for a good contractor (like our local partner HVAC companies), who will also provide a good labour warranty on the installation and any future repairs needed.
If you’re a Burlington homeowner, you’ll want to keep on top of your energy bills, especially during the winter months… especially given relatively high electricity prices in Ontario. Ensuring your furnace is an efficient one plays a part in your overall utility costs.
What to Look For When Buying a New Furnace
Before you start, you need to know a little about the different types of furnaces you can find on the general market. These include:
- Single-stage furnace
- Dual-stage furnace
- Variable or multi-speed furnace
- Modulating furnace
It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each type to find the best version for your home.
- Single Stage Furnace – This is the most basic type of furnace, and has only two functions – on, or off. This means this type of furnace doesn’t have any variation in heating output and will operate at maximum capacity. This isn’t the most energy efficient of furnaces but it is usually cheaper.
- Dual Stage Furnace – Similar to the single stage, but this option has two controls, the high setting, and low setting. This gives you more control and increased energy efficiency, especially during somewhat milder periods like fall and spring when the full BTU output is not needed.
- Variable or Multi-Speed Furnace – This type of unit is often higher in cost, but has more features. The blower on the furnace is automatically monitored and is adjusted to circulate the correct volume and temperature of heat around your property.
- Modulating Furnace – Similar to the variable-speed unit, the modulating furnace has an automatic burner, which adjusts its own temperature depending upon which parts of your home need more heat than others.
Which should you choose? It’s important to consider your options before making a decision. The last two types of furnace are going to cost you more, but they’ll likely keep the temperature in your home more consistent as they won’t have to cycle on and off as frequently, instead precisely adjusting their output. And of course they tend to be more energy efficient.
This is something to weigh up in terms of advantages versus disadvantages. You also need to take into account the size of your home too.
Another key feature to consider is the type of fuel that the furnace uses. In the Burlington area, this is mostly natural gas, but certain areas sometimes rely on propane instead. Natural gas and propane are relatively similar cost-wise, but if you choose an oil-fueled furnace you may find it not as efficient overall, and not as cost effective.
Each furnace has a rating called the AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) which is how efficiently it uses fuel to heat your home. Basically, the higher this number, the better.
Going for a long-term warranty on your furnace is always a good idea. This means your furnace becomes an investment which is going to last a longer time and save you money in the long run.
Your furnace will have a manufacturer warranty attached to it, but your HVAC contractor should also give you at least a year of warranty on the labour and installation. This is another thing to look for when choosing an installation company.