What to Ask When Shopping for a New Gas Furnace

By Erin Hynes | Sep. 22, 2020 1:38 pm PST

Warm home in winter

Ask these questions when shopping for a new gas furnace, so you get the best furnace for your home and your budget.

With the right furnace, you’ll rest comfortably in a warm home during the cold winter months — and you won’t be frozen with shock when you get your first heating bill.

1. What Size Furnace Do I Need?

“It’s critical that the furnace you buy is the right size for your home,” says John Ferrua, head of HVAC for Sears Home Services. “A furnace that is oversized or undersized won’t work at peak efficiency and won’t keep your house as comfortable as it should.”

Your furnace expert can figure out the right size for the furnace, using a Manual J load test. The Manual J load test calculates how much heat your home loses to the outdoors through the roof, walls, windows, doors and basement. The formula also takes into account your home’s construction, insulation, location and other factors.

2. How Efficient a Furnace Do I Need?

Efficiency ratings for gas furnaces range from 80 percent to 98 percent. A higher-efficiency furnace uses less natural gas, but costs more up front: A 98-percent efficient furnace can cost about $3,000 more than a standard 80-percent efficient furnace.

“A lot of factors go into determining which efficiency level is best for your home,” Ferrua explains. “It’s always a good idea to work with a licensed HVAC professional to find what’s best for your needs.”

3. What Will My Highest Gas Bill Run?

Based on the size and type of furnace that you select, ask your furnace expert for an estimate of potential savings on your gas bills.

4. How Much Will the Furnace Cost?

Get an accurate estimate of the total cost of the entire system—including installation and hidden costs. You don’t want to be unpleasantly surprised by the bill being several thousand dollars more than you expected. Examine the estimate closely and ask about any unexpected costs that may arise during installation.

5. How Long Will My New Furnace Last?

Your heating expert should be able to estimate the average lifespan of the furnace that you choose. Most furnaces last 20 years, but furnace longevity can vary by make and model. Ask for maintenance and use tips that can help your furnace last as long as possible.

6. What Does the Warranty Cover?

Find out what the furnace warranty covers and the length of the warranty. Also ask whether installation is covered.

Asking the right questions up front when buying a new gas furnace will help you get the most value for the money you spend, and you’ll avoid unpleasant surprises.

With the answers you get from these questions, you can shop for a new furnace with confidence. Ready to learn more about your furnace options? Schedule a free consultation.

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