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Is it time for a new furnace?

Overview

Published: 01/11/2012

While we didn’t have a typical winter in southern Ontario, some homeowners still might be surprised when they review
their heating bills from the past season, despite the moderate outdoor temperatures we’ve experienced.

 

“When I talk to people that are experiencing higher than expected heating bills, they are always surprised when they think back to how old their furnace actually is,” says David Coulson of Napoleon Fireplaces. “For furnaces 10 to 15 years old, you are looking at older, inefficient technology that is sucking the money right from your wallet.

 

“If you are looking to replace an older one, it’s really important to educate yourself before buying, as choosing the right furnace will save you money in the long run and keep the house at the perfect temperature.”

 

New technology brings new advances that would have never been possible 10 years ago. One example is a hybrid, a wood/oil/electric triple-fuel combination furnace that automatically switches from wood to oil or electric to heat a room. In a power failure, the furnace is designed to use gravity flow for emergency heating.

 

For people looking into a new furnace for their home, Coulson suggests the following tips.

 

Size matters. One of the most important factors when buying a furnace is to have a professional installer examine the size of
the house and then determine the size of the furnace necessary for the space. A furnace that is too large leaves gaps in temperature as it turns on, until it overwhelms the thermostat. The house ends up cooling down until the next cycle and this creates an inconsistent temperature. A furnace that is the right size for the space, however, will be able to better regulate a constant temperature.

 

•  Fewer emissions. Being energy and environmentally conscious does not have to stop at the furnace. With a hybrid furnace, the fuel comes from three different sources – wood, oil or electric.

 

•  Don’t buy on price alone. Always be sure to ask a professional installer, contractor or salesperson about annual operating costs for whatever furnaces you may be looking at. While there are a variety of factors to consider, price should not
necessarily be number one. Efficiencies, however, can vary drastically, depending on price, which means that if you pay more up front now, you’ll still enjoy lower heating bills 10 years later.

 

•  Get the right documentation. Any reputable installer or manufacturer will be sure to not only include the purchase agreement and warranty information, but also explain exactly what you are getting. If you feel confused or unsure about anything, don’t be hesitant to ask about it.

 

•  Get the correct installation and maintenance. Furnace installation should be done by a professional, as not only can the work create a safety hazard, if anything is off, it can severely affect the efficiency and therefore your heating bill. Regular maintenance, generally in the fall, will keep the furnace performing like it should, keeping your family warm and your wallet a little fuller.

 

Above all, Coulson recommends that anyone looking to replace an old, inefficient furnace first explore all of their options and consult with a professional manufacturer or installer to find the right fit for their home.  

 

from wood to oil or electric to heat a room. In a power failure, the furnace is designed to use gravity flow for emergency heating.

 

For people looking into a new furnace for their home, Coulson suggests the following tips.

 

Size matters. One of the most important factors when buying a furnace is to have a professional installer examine the size of
the house and then determine the size of the furnace necessary for the space. A furnace that is too large leaves gaps in temperature as it turns on, until it overwhelms the thermostat. The house ends up cooling down until the next cycle and this creates an inconsistent temperature. A furnace that is the right size for the space, however, will be able to better regulate a constant temperature.

 

•  Fewer emissions. Being energy and environmentally conscious does not have to stop at the furnace. With a hybrid furnace, the fuel comes from three different sources – wood, oil or electric.

 

•  Don’t buy on price alone. Always be sure to ask a professional installer, contractor or salesperson about annual operating costs for whatever furnaces you may be looking at. While there are a variety of factors to consider, price should not
necessarily be number one. Efficiencies, however, can vary drastically, depending on price, which means that if you pay more up front now, you’ll still enjoy lower heating bills 10 years later.

 

•  Get the right documentation. Any reputable installer or manufacturer will be sure to not only include the purchase agreement and warranty information, but also explain exactly what you are getting. If you feel confused or unsure about anything, don’t be hesitant to ask about it.

 

•   Get the correct installation and maintenance. Furnace installation should be done by a professional, as not only can the work create a safety hazard, if anything is off, it can severely affect the efficiency and therefore your heating bill. Regular maintenance, generally in the fall, will keep the furnace performing like it should, keeping your family warm and your wallet a little fuller.

 

Above all, Coulson recommends that anyone looking to replace an old, inefficient furnace first explore all of their
options and consult with a professional manufacturer or installer to find the right fit for their home.  

 

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