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Questions to Ask Your Contractor Before You Replace Your Heating System?

You’ve decided to replace your heating system, but you’re not sure what type of system you should buy? Should you stick to what you already have, or is there something better? What’s all this about energy efficiency ratings – is it worth the hype? Read below for some questions you should ask your local heating and air contractor before you replace your heating system.

Should I Repair or Replace My Heating System in the Triangle?

You might think it’s time to replace your unit, but is it? Would it be better to repair it at this time and replace it down the road? If it’s an older system, the answer will usually be to replace, because repairing a furnace can be expensive and your system is likely not running at its maximum efficiency anyway, which can cost you money in your heating bills. 

What Size and Type Heating System is best for our home?

Often times, your heating system is either too big or too small for your home. You should speak to a certified HVAC contractor to make sure that your new heating system is sized correctly for your home and its heating needs. They will perform a load calculation on your home to ensure you have the correctly sized system.

You’ll also want to discuss the different options of heating systems available to you. Which energy sources are available to you, and which one is most economical in your region? For example, gas furnaces are commonly found in the Carolinas, but in the Chapel Hill and Durham areas, electric furnaces or heat pumps may be more economical. There are many options to choose from to heat your home; from high-efficiency gas furnaces, multi-stage heat pumps, to ductless mini-splits. Talk to a professional about what makes the most sense for your home.  The local experts at Boer Brothers Heating & Cooling can help you make the right decision for you and your family.

What Does the AFUE Rating Mean and Does It Matter?

An AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) is a type of percent rating that indicates how much of the heat goes toward heating your home and how much is wasted. For example, if the rating is 80% then 80% of the energy is in your home, while 20% is wasted. If the rating is 90%, then 90% goes toward heating your home and 10% is wasted. Keep in mind, you pay for 100%. The rating lets you know how efficiently your furnace is operating. 

Why would you consider buying the lower AFUE then? While most people would prefer a higher efficiency heating system, it comes with a price tag. There are also installation issues to consider.  Your local experts at Boer Brothers can help you determine which is system is best for your home. Higher efficiency furnaces are more expensive, but the fuel savings can outweigh the initial costs.

What Should the Warranty Cover and Should I Purchase an Extended Warranty?

Not all warranties are alike. There are manufacturer’s warranties and extended warranties. Manufacturer’s warranties do not cover all the same things. Before purchasing your new heating system, speak to your HVAC contractor about what is covered in the manufacturer’s warranty. You may find that you like the price of one system, but the warranty is lacking. Look at the warranty’s coverage as well as the warranty term.

Extended warranties can add additional years to the coverage of the manufacturer’s warranty. Speak to your HVAC contractor about what is covered in the manufacturer’s warranty, and you may want to consider whether you will be prepared to pay out of pocket for those parts if you decline. Extended warranties can also cover the cost of labor, which a manufacturer’s warranty will not. Labor can be expensive when it comes to major repairs.

Keep in mind; warranties may be voided if regular maintenance is not performed on your system.  It is in your best interest to maintain a regular maintenance schedule on your home’s heating and air conditioning system.  Boer Brothers Heating and Cooling provides a top of the line maintenance program that will help maintain peak efficiency and increase the longevity of your heating system. (Read more about the benefits of a Maintenance Club)

What is the Estimated Cost and Are There Any Available Rebates or Tax Credits?

When your HVAC contractor comes to your home to speak with you about a new heating system, they should be able to provide you with a written estimate as well as tell you about available rebates and tax credits. Often, you may receive additional benefits (such as rebates or tax credits) for purchasing a higher efficiency system.  Contact us at Boer Brothers Heating and Cooling, and we can answer any questions you may have!