Which Furnace Is Right For You? How Do You Choose?

November 30, 2017

Choosing a furnace can be a very daunting and overwhelming task. Too often we come across customers with "multiple quotes," looking for comparatives and who don't realize they aren't comparing apples to apples! Furnaces vary drastically from the same manufacturer, let alone between manufacturers and BEFORE even considering all the other bells & whistles OR installation requirements. 

How do you decide what is right for you? How do you narrow down your options and decipher what is required for your home & specific wants/needs? Asking yourself a few questions before speaking to a professional may help the process!

 

Ultimately, if you are not an HVAC specialist, you will need to speak to someone who is - ideally someone who has reputable experience & comes with trusted recommendations.  


Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing a Furnace.

 


What is the efficiency of my current furnace? Is my current furnace a mid-efficiency?

Mid-efficiency furnaces have not been sold in Canada since January 1st, 2010. If your current furnace is a mid-efficiency, you will be looking at the implications and added costs of installing a high-efficiency furnace.

 

.... on the bright side! high efficiency furnaces offer higher energy cost savings & often qualify for a rebate from the Ontario Power Authority (which Sipco will submit for you on your behalf)

What "implications" am I looking at when converting from mid to high-efficiency? 

 

Drain System:
     - unlike mid-efficiency furnaces, high-efficiency models condense and require drainage either by an existing means, however often a new drainage system is required
Chimney Liner: 
     - high-efficiency furnaces will be vented through their new piping, no longer up the chimney like mid-effiency furnaces are, therefore a chimney liner will likely be required to avoid over-condensation in your chimney



What is the square footage of my home? 

  • the square footage will determine the size of the furnace and BTU output required to properly heat your home


How much space do I have in my utility room? 

  • although most equipment rooms don't pose a problem when it comes to replacement, height and width of the space can impact the size of furnace possible as well as options for an A/C coil if you also have air conditioning


Do I want a single-stage or two-stage furnace? What is the difference?


Main Differences
1. Level of Comfort
     - a two-stage furnace has a high-fire & a low-fire, heating your home more evenly      
               and eliminating cold spots
2. Fuel Usage 
     - multiple firing rates will ultimately save you $$ on your gas bill with fuel conservation 
3. Level of Filtration
     - with two-stages, your system is circulating air more frequently
 

As expected, the added benefits of a two-stage furnace come at a cost. You will have to determine whether the added costs are worthwhile to you.

 


Am I interested in smart-technology compatibility? 

  • not all smart thermostats are compatible with every furnace available, so if a smart stat is what you're after make sure to let your HVAC specialist know!


Do I want to install an Air Conditioner at the same time?


If your air conditioning system is working fine or has recently been changed there may not be a reason to look at replacing all your equipment.

Benefits:

  • forced-air heating & cooling systems work in conjunction with one another, therefore having equipment that is from the same manufacturer will help attain optimal functionality

  • you will save on installation costs & may qualify for a higher OPA rebate
     

Even if you have the answers to all of the above questions (with no sub-questions!) we highly recommend speaking to an HVAC specialist & having a professional see the space and existing equipment.

 

Personally, Sipco does not quote on installation jobs before having someone on our team see the space and ensure all boxes have been checked. This not only gives us all the tools necessary to complete an installation effectively & timely, it allows our home-owners peace of mind that the service they are receiving is all-inclusive with no preventable surprises. 

We are all always happy to help if you have any questions or are looking for a quote on your equipment replacement.        416.232.2262

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