This winter we had a lot of calls from homeowners in desperate need of furnace repairs. What surprised us was how many of these furnaces were almost new: in fact, many were only 1-2 years old.
The cause? Improper sizing and bad installation. These people used low cost providers who didn’t take the time or have the knowledge to help them get the right furnace: now they’re having to pay for repairs that could have been avoided.
A common question is how long do furnaces last? We want to keep this from happening to anyone else who is looking to upgrade. This article will explain the problems with getting the wrong furnace, and how to pick the right installation company the first time.
Low-Cost Providers Don’t Take the Time to Assess Your Needs
Low-cost installation companies will often just replace the old furnace with a new furnace of the same British thermal units (BTUs) and call it a day. But furnaces are becoming more and more efficient: you can’t simply hook up a new furnace without taking into account the following factors:
- House size
- Insulation level and quality
- Furnace efficiency ratings
- Housing and ductwork layout
- Sun exposure, and even the number and size of windows
But many low-cost providers will disregard all of that, going off of old, outdated information. The end result of a low-cost installation is a furnace that’s entirely the wrong size for the home.
The Wrong-Sized Furnace Will Wear Out More Quickly
An oversized furnace turns off and on frequently because it runs hotter than it should. This not only heats up your home quickly and far too much, but it causes the furnace’s overheating safety mechanism to kick in, shutting it off. When this happens too much, it will cause your furnace to fail.
When a furnace is too small for a home, it will cause the furnace to run much longer than it should, with your home never quite getting warm enough. The end result is a furnace that becomes so worn out from constant use that it breaks down.
With an improperly-sized furnace, not only will you experience more breakdowns (which, according to Murphy’s Law, will happen on the coldest day of the year), but the lifespan of your furnace will be drastically reduced.
You’ll Spend Hundreds Trying to Make it Work
When we were called to these homes, the story was the same: the original, low-cost provider was making them wait days, even weeks for repairs to the furnaces they had installed. They’d been without heat the entire time.
We helped as quickly as we could with the repairs, but a wrong-sized furnace will stay the wrong size: it’s going to keep wearing out and needing repairs.
More frequent repairs means more money spent on operating your furnace. The wrong furnace size will also cost impact your heating bills: constantly turning off and on or being constantly in use is extremely inefficient.
This means that after getting an upgraded furnace to try and save money on bills and repairs, these homeowners are having to actually spend more on a furnace that won’t last as long.
It Could Have Life-Threatening Consequences
Not only were these homeowners having to spend more money: they also had increased safety risks.
A natural gas furnace creates carbon monoxide, an invisible gas that is normally vented safely out of the home. If something goes wrong, however, it can be deadly. In fact, it kills homeowners each and every year. It was just in March 2018 that carbon monoxide claimed the life of an infant, and it wasn’t that long ago that 3 people in Brampton passed away from a leak.
A furnace that is wearing out often and overheating is at risk of cracks and leaks in the heat exchanger, causing carbon monoxide to enter your home. It’s one of the reasons furnace maintenance is important for everyone, and why you need to have working carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
How Can I Avoid Buyer’s Remorse?
Deadly gas, hundreds in bills and repairs, constant discomfort: does this sound like a nightmare to you? It should. It’s incredibly frustrating and expensive to have a new furnace failing only a short time after buying it. But you can avoid buyer’s remorse by working with the right installation company the first time.
Do Your Research
It can seem a little scary when you don’t know much about furnaces, and there’s a lot of companies out there trying to get you to pick them. But if you do some careful research, you’ll be able to sort out the good companies from the bad.
Online reviews are an excellent way to get honest feedback from other consumers about their experiences with companies. You can read some of ours here >
The best way to be confident in your decision is by asking questions. A company that evades your questions or gives you vague answers that leave you feeling uninformed won’t be your best option.
When we’re approached about an installation, the first thing we do is send our comfort specialist to the home to take measurements, ask the homeowner thoughtful questions about their heating or cooling needs, and give them a presentation of their options. We encourage all our customers to ask as many questions as they want: we want you to understand your options, and have your concerns addressed.
Ask More Questions During the Installation
A company like ours has excellent installation technicians who answer questions and explain what they’re doing as they do it. That way everyone is on the same page. So don’t be afraid to approach one of us and ask away: we’re happy to answer.
Continue Working with the Installation Company That Knows Your Home
A reliable company won’t just install your furnace or air conditioner and say good day. They’ll be there for any heating and cooling repairs you may need, and help you find out the benefits of annual maintenance appointments, making sure that everything is ship-shape.
Dr. HVAC actually has a maintenance plan that gives its members special front-of-the line services privileges, so you NEVER have to worry about whether someone is coming to help you. All you have to do is alert us to the problem, and we’ll be there.
Work with Dr. HVAC, the Installation Company That Cares
We don’t want to see anyone stuck with a furnace or air conditioner that doesn’t work. So before you make a decision, ask us for a free, no obligation installation quote. We’ll make sure you’re 100% informed of your options, and provide the quality of service you deserve.