Purchasing a High-Efficiency Furnace
London winters can be fierce with more snow coming off Lake Huron and extreme lows and highs in a short period of time from the prairie-like terrain. It’s incredibly important in these types of conditions to have a reliable, well-fitted furnace for your home.
There are a few things to look for when trying to get an energy-efficient furnace to save money down the road. The ENERGY STAR® certification is a good place to start and means that the unit has at least 95% AFUE and a fan efficiency of maximum 2%. The AFUE rating tells you the ratio of fuel used to cost. So an AFUE of 95% means that 95 cents of your dollar are going to heat your home. High AFUE, good motor, and energy-efficient heat exchangers are important things to look at when determining efficiency.
You can get a number of features depending on the make and model of the furnace you choose. Necessary and important parts are the blower which circulates the heated air, and burner which will determine how much energy and gas the unit takes to heat your home and how quickly and efficiently that happens. There are also a number of additional features that can improve performance by automating settings, providing reminders and optimizing efficiency.
Price And Value
Some factors to consider are the savings you’ll get from a model designed to be high-efficiency rather than solely focusing on the immediate cost of the unit and installation. Reliability is fairly standard across different makes, but you’ll want to ensure that fit and sizing is as accurate as possible for your home so you don’t end up wasting money, energy and time with a poorly-fit (under or over-sized) furnace.
Typically, a standard warranty will be a 10-year limited warranty on parts, and usually not on installation. The installation warranty would come directly from the HVAC contractor who installs the unit; look for at least a 1-year labour warranty. There is sometimes a lifetime warranty on the heat exchanger, so that’s a feature to watch out for. Other warranties might cover transfer of ownership if you sell your home and may offer additional coverage at a charge.
The noise from the blower and the clang of the unit turning on are not sounds that a London homeowner wants to hear at all hours of the day and night. Most modern furnaces now are sound-insulated and some use variable-speeds and heating to minimize the amount of noise that is produced by a working unit.
With the population of London, there are over 100 HVAC companies that provide healthy competition for the industry and can give you reasonable quotes.
Depending on how efficient your new furnace is, you can qualify for rebates from the Ontario government. A high-efficiency furnace can save you $250, while an ENERGY STAR A/C can save you $600. You’ll get a check in 8-12 weeks after your participating contractor submits the application. Your distributor may also offer rebates, so be sure to check with them as well.