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A New Homeowner's Guide to Buying a New Furnace

Posted by Gregg on Nov 17, 2016 10:13:39 AM

new furnaceIn the market for a new home? Or making your first home purchase? Whether experienced or a first-time homebuyer, there are a lot of things to consider when making your buying decision. One is ensuring that the home you’re purchasing is in good condition and will be as worry-free as possible. Nowhere is that more important than making sure that your heating system is in order. But what if you think your dream home may need a new furnace? Here’s a 6-point checklist to help you decide.

  1. If you haven’t already, be sure to schedule a professional home inspection. A licensed inspector will thoroughly assess the home for anything that may need repair, replacement, or watching. You can ask specifically about the existing furnace to help determine if or when it may need replacing.

  2. Here are some of the things for both you and the inspector to look for:

    • The age of the furnace. The older it is, the greater likelihood it may need repair or replacement in the near future. Many furnaces can last 30 or even 40 years. However, that doesn't mean they’re running efficiently.

    • The efficiency of the furnace. Even if the furnace is operating just fine, it can pay to upgrade to a higher efficiency unit. One quick way to determine efficiency is to check the venting to the chimney. If it’s metal, the furnace is running at 80% efficiency or less. New, high-efficiency furnaces have plastic vents and run between 94 and 97% efficiency. That can mean a lot of savings!

    • Proper installation and safety factors. The inspector should look at all connections, especially the gas, to make sure everything is correctly installed and up to code.

  3. If there’s any doubt about the condition of the furnace after the home inspection, it may well be worth your investment to have a heating professional take a second look or have Xcel Energy or CenterPoint conduct a home energy audit.

  4. If you have an audit, consider including a combustion analysis. While this is an added expense, it will give you very specific information on the furnace’s efficiency and can be worth the up-front investment in the long run.

  5. If you’ve decided the home needs a new furnace, talk to your realtor. The cost of a new unit can often be negotiated as part of the purchase price of the home.

  6. When choosing a new furnace, here are some important things to consider: 

    • Look for a top rated, high-efficiency furnace. There are many to choose from and a wide range of costs. A good place to start your research is Energy Star’s list of most efficient furnaces for 2016. This list reviews and compares all of the top rated furnaces in an easy to understand format.

    • A new furnace can be a significant investment and you’ll want to consider what options best fit your needs, including your budget. Here are some of the factors to take into consideration.

A new home is an exciting purchase. We hope these pointers help you stay warm and comfy for many years to come.

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Topics: Heating, Energy Efficiency