5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a New Furnace

By Terry Mehilos | Oct. 04, 2023 5:00 am PST

Time to replace your air conditioner or furnace talk to an expert

Learn when it’s time to replace your HVAC system and what to know before you buy.

Fall has arrived and the livin’ is easy — except if it’s too cold because your furnace isn’t working as it should. Before the real cold hits, it’s a good idea to have Sears check your heating system.

But how do you know if you need a new system — and what do you need to know before buying a new HVAC system to make a smart purchase?

When to Replace

You may need to replace your heating and cooling system if any of these telltale signs occur:

  • You see a spike or upward trend in your energy bills.
  • You’re paying for frequent repairs.
  • Your home isn’t as comfortable as you would like it to be; perhaps it has hot spots or cold spots, is too dry or too humid, or has large temperature swings.
  • Your boiler, furnace or air conditioner is more than 12 years old.

Follow these general guidelines to estimate the lifespan of your system, suggests David Kenyon, a Sears HVAC expert in the New York City area: Condensers and air handlers usually last 12 to 17 years; boilers typically last 15 to 25 years; and furnaces can last 15 to 20 years.

Get in touch with someone knowledgeable and trustworthy to help you understand whether you need to replace any part of your system. Sears Home Services offers a no-cost evaluation of your current system and will discuss options.

Image of Sears HVAC consultant helping a customer

What to Ask

To determine if you need a new HVAC system, answer the following questions:

1. How important is energy efficiency?

There are a lot of measurements for efficiency, and each system has its own type of measurement. It’s always a safe bet to choose an Energy Star-certified system. You can check the EnergyGuide to determine the energy efficiency of the products you’re considering.

2. What’s the ROI (return on investment)?

There’s usually a seven-to-15-year payback period for a new condenser, air handler, or furnace, according to Kenyon. Having these new items will help increase your home’s resale value.

3. What size unit do I need?

This is determined with a load calculation. Heating and cooling loads are based primarily on cubic footage, but there are other factors, including the direction your house faces, insulation, and the size, type and number of windows you have. Needless to say, it gets complicated. Thankfully, Sears Home Services has software that can perform the calculation for you.

4. Are there other expenses associated with installation?

“There could be added expenses, if, for example, someone needs to upgrade their electrical panel to accommodate the AC system,” Kenyon says. Also, consider if you want a humidifier or air purifier — a great idea if someone in the house has allergies, asthma, dry skin or bloody noses.

5. What system is right for me?

This answer depends on your budget and the comfort level you’re trying to achieve. A higher-end system will be more efficient, give you more of an even temperature level throughout your home and have less humidity swings, Kenyon says. You may also consider your return on investment. “If you’re going to be in your home for 20 years, you might want to spend more for a higher-end system.”

Sears carries Kenmore, Carrier and Mitsubishi, which are the top HVAC brands and offer a wide variety of choices at different price points. Sears also offers many different financing options to help make a large HVAC investment more affordable for homeowners. [Schedule your free consultation today}(/improve/heating-cooling-systems).

What to Expect When a Sears HVAC Consultant Visits Your Home

  • Our Sears Home Services Heating & Cooling Consultant will come to assess your home, as well as educate you on your furnace or HVAC replacement options to help you make the best decision.
  • The consultant will review financing options with you so you can choose the plan that best fits your needs.
  • You are able to then choose the right system for your home and schedule the installation appointment when it is most convenient for you.

What Happens During HVAC System Installation

  • Preparation for the installation includes items such as protecting your home with drop cloths and other floor protection as well as wearing shoe covers to prevent dirt from entering your home.
  • We will then carefully remove your old system and all of its associated components.
  • Our technicians will install your new equipment and support systems, including all gas piping, wiring, duct transitions, and venting.
  • We will then conduct a thorough test of the entire system using a 20-point inspection routine to ensure your system is operating at maximum efficiency and comfort.
  • We will walk you through how to operate your new system and thermostat, as well as show you how to change any filters. The system’s user guide will be placed in a packet with other information attached to your furnace.

We’ve been helping keep American homes safe and comfortable for over 100 years. You can trust our experts to help take care of your house so you and your family can enjoy your home.

Get a free in-home consultation

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