Buying a furnace is complicated. Unless there is an on-site visit to your home to determine the specific situation, including where you live (city, state and exposure to sun and wind), the square footage of your home, your desire to be green and of course your financial resources.
This is why a furnace quote over the phone is not reliable. Speaking to a local contractor before you make any decisions and you can get the ideal furnace for your living conditions and style. There are a few things you should consider before you talk to a professional:
Why the Large Price Range?
Just as there is a large range in car prices, and they vary based on manufacturer, model and options. Furnace prices in that respect are very similar to cars. The furnace prices have a wide range; from a couple hundred dollars for a furnace to several thousand dollars. The pricing really should be focused on what your needs are. A furnace listed for $500 (which is very inexpensive especially when advertised as the installed price), there is probably a good reason. These furnaces installed for $500 - $1,000 is not a high enough quality to consider for the long term, the reliability will not be there and it also may be wrongly sized for your home. Any contractor pricing a furnace installation that low probably does not have a license, insurance and qualified trained installers and if they do they can’t stay in business very long.
On the other hand, make sure you can afford your furnace and pick the features that you will benefit from. You need to be aware of why you want to go green, is it return on investment or is it to be role model and save the environment. Some want to be ultra green and use geothermal and solar while others want to install a basic 80% or 95% efficient furnace. Spending more money for increased comfort can be money well spent.
Energy-efficiency is just one consideration. Your home’s size and exposure will affect the sizing of the unit. Also the location of the furnace affects the installation price. For example an attic furnace is harder and more labor intense than a garage installation. Comfort is also important. Is your furnace loud or are there hot and cold spots in your home? This can be solved by installing a furnace with a variable speed motor to mix the air quietly in the background fixing the loud furnace and hot and cold spots (like near windows).
What Efficiency Do I buy?
There are two types of furnaces allowed to be installed, Standard Efficiency and High Efficiency. Basically these terms refer to the amount of fuel (natural gas or propane) that is burned in the heating process. The 80% Standard Efficiency furnace burns 80% of the fuel and the rest goes up the flue. The standard efficient furnace is a replacement while the high efficiency furnace requires a little more finesse to install. The High Efficiency furnace can be 90% to 98% efficient. This installation requires special placement and installation in the home, special drainage lines (like the ones for air conditioning) plus a PVC pipe flue because it burns much more of the fuel and that process results in more water. So do you spend more for the energy efficient furnace or not? This is a tough question to answer. It is not just based on return on investment (ROI) but how attractive is your home with energy efficient heating when you sell it and how green do you want to be? Unfortunately, there's no easy answer, this is a personal choice.
The best thing to do is to contact an experienced contractor and get a personal quote. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and want a furnace replacement, please click the button below for a free quote.
If you need help with temperature, contact Cold Craft, Inc.
408.374.7292 or INFO@COLDCRAFT.COM