What Features Should I Look For When Comparing High-Efficiency Furnaces?
Now that you know how much heat output your home requires, it is now time to look into different furnace models that best suit your needs and match your budget at the same time. Matching your budget does not mean only looking at the initial cost of installation. You should seriously not over-look the value of an attractive payback period. Look at it as an investment you are making in the heating system of your home.
For example, if a furnace costs $2,000 and another furnace costs $2,400, the $2,400 furnace might save you an additional $150 per year, which means that you have a payback period of $400/$150=2.7 years. Any payback period giving you a return on your investment within 5 years, is considered a smart investment. In the above case, if you purchased and installed the $2,400 furnace, not only you will recover the difference in 2 years and 8-9 months, but for every year that passes you are saving yourself from paying an extra $150. However, if the $2,400 furnace only saved you $50 in comparison with the $2,000 furnace, then your payback is 10 years, which may be pushing it a little - depending on your inital budget.
So how do you know which furnace is economical? Or maybe you should also ask: How do I know which furnace will me you more Comfort? Afterall, sometimes you can't put a price on comfort.
When looking at different furnace brands and models available in Toronto, there are 3 to 4 factors and features that determine if you are making an economical investment:
First, how much is the complete installed price plus HST?
What are the estimated operational cost of this furnace? The following 3 factors directly influence the operational cost of a high-efficiency gas furnace:
The furnace's rated AFUE
The type of blower motor featured on the furnace
The type of inducer motor
And the eligible rebates on the particular furnace model
With answering the above questions - which will be discussed in more details in the following sections - you can do a complete cost analysis to determine the economic aspect of your choices and make a decision stricly based on an economical point of view! But wait! It isn't ALL about a direct econimical analysis. Sometimes, and depending on your circumstances, you just can't put a price on comfort. So what other furnace features and functionalities should you look for in a furnace?
Number of Heating Stages: single-stage? two-stage? three-stage? or fully modulating?
ECM Blower Motor?
ECM Inducer Motor?
You should also consider the following when installing your new high-efficiency furnace:
Available Parts and Labour Warranty of the furnace?