Buying A New Furnace For The First Time? 3 Rookie Mistakes To Avoid

16 December 2015
 Categories: , Articles


As a homeowner, one of the biggest challenges you can face is knowing when it is time to replace any of your appliances – especially if the unit seems to be working just fine. However, according to Energy Star, if your furnace is 15 years old or older, it is time to seek out a newer, more energy-efficient model. If this is the first time you've ever had to shop around for a new furnace, you might be confused by all the information and models out there. Here are three of the most common mistakes first-time furnace buyers make, and how to avoid them:

Not Learning About SEER

When it comes to shopping for a new furnace, one of your biggest considerations should be how energy-efficient it is. A furnace that is more energy efficient will not only use less electricity, it will also typically last longer because it doesn't have to work as hard to keep your home warm.

As a consumer, you can determine how efficient a furnace or air conditioning unit is by locating its Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER, number. According to Angie's List, the SEER rating system goes from 13 to 25, with 25 being the most energy-efficient models.

There are many factors to consider when choosing a unit based upon its SEER rating. For example, if you live in a frigid climate, choosing a furnace with a higher SEER rating is a great choice. However, you must keep in mind that in most cases, the higher the SEER rating, the more expensive the unit will be.

If you're not sure which is the best unit for you, or which SEER rating you should be shooting for, don't hesitate to ask an HVAC provider for help.

Not Learning About the Basics

When you finally begin researching furnaces, you might be overwhelmed by the different varieties, models and manufacturers available. However, before you become too confused, it is important to learn about the basics.

For example, if you're in the market for a natural gas furnace, you have three main options to choose from:

  • Single-Stage Furnace – If you live in a more mild climate or don't have a large budget, a single-stage furnace is your best option. This type of furnace has a single setting, which means you cannot adjust the heat output.

  • Two-Stage Furnace – A two-stage unit is typically more energy-efficient and a great choice if you live in colder climates. This type of furnace has two settings, low and high, which allows you to crank up the heat on a colder winter night.

  • Modulating Furnace – A modulating furnace is the most energy-efficient unit available. This type of furnace features a modulating gas valve that allows the homeowner to adjust the heat output by controlling how much gas is used. Some models even allow the user to adjust the gas usage by one percent at a time!

Skipping the Maintenance Contract

Choosing the best furnace for your climate and budget is vital, but it is just as important to remember that it will require regular maintenance. For example, did you know that the dirt, dust and other debris that will naturally make its way into your HVAC system can actually make the unit less energy-efficient?

This is why it is vital that, when you finally purchase your new furnace, you don't skip the maintenance agreement. From performing an annual inspection to fixing those tiny problems that always seem to arise once the snow starts falling, signing a maintenance contract will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your HVAC repairman will be there to keep your furnace working perfectly. For more information about what sort of repairs your furnace may need in the future, check out websites like

Shopping for a new furnace can be confusing and a little overwhelming. Don't fall victim to these common first-time furnace buyers' mistakes, and instead, educate yourself about the basics.