Replacing a furnace is a large investment, and one that takes ample technical knowledge and professional skill on the part of the contractor. It's a major upgrade to your home, which will not only affect your family's comfort over the long run, but your monthly heating bills, too. This is why it's essential to ask the right questions of your HVAC contractor when deciding on a new heating system.
Consider the following questions when you're discussing a furnace replacement
- How long is the warranty on the new furnace? What does the warranty cover? A manufacturer's extended warranty is generally the most reliable.
- How efficiently will your new furnace convert fuel into heating for your home? Will the extra cost for a high-efficiency furnace (AFUE 90 percent and above) be paid back over time with lower heating bills?
- Is the furnace venting through the side wall? Where will this vent go, and what will it look like? Talk about possibilities before work starts.
- Are you considering a high-efficiency condensing furnace? Will the furnace be checked for proper drainage? The furnace should be level, and the piping for the condensate needs to be supported and sloped correctly. Where will the drainage hose go?
- Does the new furnace have sealed combustion? Is all combustion air drawn from outside?
- Will the new furnace use the existing chimney? Does that chimney need a liner?
- Can the current ductwork handle the airflow from the new furnace? Does it need to be redesigned, repaired or replaced?
- What type of air filter is recommended for the new furnace? Are some options better than others for your home's indoor air quality needs? How do you change the filter?
- Will the new furnace sit on bricks or pads to elevate it, in case the basement gets wet?
- How long has this model of furnace existed, and does the contractor have experience with it?
- Does the furnace replacement include a new thermostat? Is that new thermostat programmable?
- What fees does the contractor charge to check and adjust the furnace after the first heating season?
- Would it cost less to purchase a replacement during the off season?
- How will the size of the replacement furnace be calculated?
If you have questions about furnace replacement, or about tuning up your existing system, please contact us at Sobieski Services. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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