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How to Prepare for a Furnace Installation

You will surely notice once your furnace fails. At times, you can still mend it and have it working once more, but sooner or later, you have no choice but to buy a new one and prepare for a furnace installation. And when the time comes that installing a new furnace is your only alternative, consider the following tips prior to signing up with a contractor on a new service contract.

Looking for the Right Furnace
The first thing you must consider is the kind of furnace you are going to install. And because the majority of furnaces can last as long as 15 to 20 years, you will likely be overwhelmed with the diverse choices of furnaces that weren’t there yet the last time you had a furnace installation. The most typical household furnace uses natural gas and likely cost around $2,500 up to $14,000. Some use oil and still prevalent in a few areas. But there is a catch, they are not as efficient as the gas-powered ones. Their prices range from $2,000 up to $8,000 for a furnace installation. It will cost you more when it involves work on the duct system.

Then, there’s also an alternative to opting for electric heat. It comes from small registers situated on the border of the rooms. To install one, you might need to shell out $1,000 up to $2,000. However, they’re not an effective heating alternative when you have a big room. Moreover, using it results to high monthly energy costs. The heat pump is a better choice and also becoming more popular now among homeowners. It pulls heat from the ground or air with the use of refrigerant coils. For heat pumps pulling heat from the air, it will cost you $1,500 to $7,000, whereas the ones with the ground source are priced at $7,000 up to $25,000. They double as ACs in the summer, but most cannot work during extremely cool temperatures thereby reducing their efficiency.

Furnace Efficiency

A gas furnace has a variety of choices that in turn affects its price,
Firstly, there is heat output. It is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). A 60,000 BTU furnace is enough for an average home. Meanwhile, higher BTU rating units does not translate to better units if you have a small home. They are expensive and achieve their ideal temperatures shortly and then shut off. In turn, your home has an inconsistent level of comfort.

Then, another important consideration is efficiency. You can expect around 80% efficiency or less among older-model furnaces. To better understand what this figure means, 20% of the generated heat is lost. Most of the newer models are 90% efficient, and some can reach as high as 95%. The higher the efficiency, the lower your operating cost will be.

You must find out how effective your furnace is in heating up your home. It is mainly affected by its “staging.” An old model has “one–stage,” indicating that these furnaces always run at maximum power. The majority of newer furnaces have “two-stages”, which can allow it to run at 65% at the start to save fuel, and then increase up to 95% when necessary. There are also “three-stages” models, but they are pricey. They can run at 33% to 90% power in 1% increments.

Taking into Consideration Labour Costs

A furnace installation also includes labor costs. Labor costs vary, but the minimum contractors or companies charge is around $75/hour for the contractor and an additional $50 for the helper. For an 8-hour furnace installation, it can cost you as much as $1,000 in labor alone. Furnace installations can become more costly if there is a need to repair or modify existing ductwork, or when a new furnace is much smaller or bigger than the current one.

A furnace installation is covered by two warranties. Firstly, there’s the manufacturer’s warranty. It comes along with the furnace and protects you against built-in defects with the unit. For instance, the pilot lights do not stay lit or an inoperable fan. Secondly, there’s the contractor’s warranty. It covers labor necessary when doing repairs when a furnace starts to fail and usually lasts as long as five to ten years. An extended warranty will cost you more.

Ensure that the warranty is in writing. Likewise, ensure that it covers all the specifics like what is its coverage, how long is it in effect, and what the contractor can provide to address the issue. Even though a furnace installation’s cost varies, you can save yourself from being fooled by scrupulous contractors by conducting your own research.

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