What to Look for When Buying a New Furnace or Boiler

If we always based our buying habits around obtaining “the best” we’d all be driving Ferraris (and be in serious debt), right? The same holds true when buying a furnace. Yes, there are furnaces out there considered to be the “best” and “most efficient.” But, for some homeowners, buying the latest and greatest may not work with their current budget or living situation. So, when buying a new furnace, simply ask yourself, “What make and model of furnace is right for my budget, comfort, and plans for the future?”

In deciding between a replacement or furnace repair, Vancouver homeowners have more options than ever. CampbellCare Plumbing, Heating and Air technicians are not only skilled in repairing and maintaining gas & electric furnaces and boilers, but also in determining which furnace or boiler will work best in a particular and home and why. Not every old system needs replacement; depending on its condition, prompt repair and seasonal maintenance may get you a few more good years from an aging furnace. Your CampbellCare technician will offer you cost-effective options and answer your questions so you can make an informed decision.

Whether you’re looking for furnace repair in Surrey or a furnace replacement in Vancouver’s northern suburbs, our regional technicians are here to help you find the answers you’re after. Read on to see why your
geographical location and the style of home can play a larger role in heating costs than the efficiency of your furnace.

Choosing a Furnace Replacement in Vancouver: It’s “Location, Location, Location”

With the mildest winters in any part of Canada, choosing a furnace replacement in Vancouver comes with some tough choices. Vancouver homeowners can choose electric heat pumps, natural gas furnaces, and
boilers — all of these are quite viable options in our area.

In one study by the Pembina Institute, researchers averaged out all factors: home size, insulation, construction, style, and the efficiency of the furnace or boiler being used to heat the home. Surprisingly, the costs were relatively close; the average home in the Lower Mainland area will likely see annual heating costs in the area of $375 for gas furnaces and $300-400 for electrical heat pumps.

What is a Furnace’s “AFUE” Rating?

This is an easy question to answer, although one that mostly applies to natural gas- and oil-burning furnaces and boilers. Essentially, the higher a unit’s annual fuel use efficiency, or “AFUE” rating, such as 93, 94, 95, etc., the more efficient it will be. While there is more advanced science behind the rating, a furnace with a 95 AFUE rating will — under ideal circumstances — convert 95% of the fuel directly into heat (at 100 BTU), with the remaining 5% being lost out the flue. Since electric furnaces do not use gas, most have exceptional efficiencies, with a majority operating in the 98% efficiency range.

The Missing Factor: Your Home’s Efficiency

A furnace designed with the latest energy-efficient technologies will always cost less annually than previous designs, especially antiquated, low-efficiency units that make you wonder if burning cash would be
a more efficient heating method. But, if your home is drafty or poorly insulated, you will only realize the full cost-saving potential of a high-efficiency unit if you have ensured your home is properly insulated.

CampbellCare’s heating technicians use a fairly standard efficiency-estimating procedure developed by the Air Conditioning Contractors of American (ACCA®), known as “Manual J HVAC Residential Load Calculation.” Our method of calculating your home’s heating needs takes into account factors such as the size, layout, age, design, and construction of your home. That also brings us to a good bit of advice: if you happen to hire a contractor not affiliated with our team and they’re making recommendations without doing these calculations, run for the hills; that’s not a heating contractor, that’s a furnace salesman.

You should know that in addition to the selection of a modern unit with the right capacity for your home, installation by an experienced and reliable heating contractor is key to getting the best performance from your heating system. CampbellCare’s heating technicians are continually trained to be up-to-date on installation and service on the latest innovations in the heating industry and we’ve been in business in theLower Mainland since 1981.

Let’s Discuss Your Home Heating Needs

For a free quote on replacing or repairing your gas or electric furnace or boiler, talk to the team at CampbellCare Plumbing, Heating & Air. Once we take a look at your home and ask you questions about your current heating costs, we can recommend options to save you money and increase your indoor comfort. Expert advice and services are only just a call away — contact CampbellCare today!

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