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Furnaces- The Who What Where When and Why you need one
The national average cost of furnace replacement is $4,100, with most homeowners spending between $2,500 and $5,000. Furnace replacement cost varies by make and model. Before shopping for your new furnace make sure you consult with one of our licenced HVAC specialists so we can best determine the most cost efficient way to heat your home. Your location and house size can factor into your final decision on what type of furnace is best suited for your home. Whether you are looking at replacing your furnace or giving it some fine turning, this is an investment that you need to think about. Here is some key facts and thoughts you need to think about before investing.
When should I be upgrading?
Most furnaces have an average lifespan of around 15-25 years if it is serviced regularly and maintained. However, the newer furnaces that are on the market are more efficient, so upgrading your furnace every 10 years may actually save you money in the end, depending on the issues your current one has.
Issues that may cause you to upgrade your furnace.
Age of your furnace- If your furnace is over 10 years old there is a good chance it has lost its efficiency or there is a new model that has a higher energy rating on it. Even after it is serviced every year it may no longer be operating at its initial efficiency level. Many home owners are surprised to learn that after 15 years your furnace is only operating at 40%-50% less then when it was initially purchased. A new furnace could result in a reduction in annual energy bills by 40%.
Broken or expensive repairs- When your furnace has reached the end of its life, as the old saying goes don’t fix something that wont last the distance. Sometimes it is cheaper to purchase a new furnace when you factor in costs of a repair plus potential savings on your future utility bills.
Rising utility bills- new furnace models use less energy to heat your home, this means more money in your pocket but its is also a green option as if makes less of an impact on the environment.
Standard Furnace Parts- What You Need To Know
Different furnace models have a variety of features that set them apart from others in the market. All furnaces, however, have several standard parts in common.
Power Switch: Natural gas furnaces require electricity to function. The blower motor and circuit boards that send signals to and from the thermostat run on electricity, and some units won't operate without electricity for safety reasons. Fortunately, newer furnaces are efficient enough that the impact on the average electric bill is minor.
Shut-Off Valve: This is a simple lever attached to the line that brings gas into the home and to the furnace. It’s important to know where the shut-off valve is located in case of an emergency. Note that when this valve is closed, latent gas remains present in the line for about ten minutes before it dissipates.
Pilot Light: This is the flame used to ignite the gas burner. In older systems, the pilot light was always lit, which proved wasteful. Newer systems use electricity to ignite the dormant pilot light, which then ignites a larger gas burner.
Blower: The blower is the part that does the brunt of the furnace’s work. This is the motor that blows warm air through the duct system. Be sure to check the blower chamber periodically to ensure it’s free of debris and other obstructions.
Burners: The burners are the origin of the furnace’s hot gases. The pilot light provides the small flame that lights the larger burners, which then send the heated gases into the heat exchanger. A burner cover shields the burners to keep stray particles like dust out of the heat exchanger. The burner cover also prevents accidental contact with the burners’ flame.
Heat Exchanger: This is a curved section of metal piping that transports the gases heated by the burners. As the gas heats the metal, the blower passes air over the heat exchanger. This heats up the air as the blower pushes it through the ductwork.
Combustion Chamber: The combustion chamber creates the draft that pulls the hot gases through the heat exchanger and sends them to the exhaust stack, which channels them safely outside where they dissipate harmlessly. A draft hood prevents the gases from escaping into the home.
Supply Duct: This is a ductwork component that sends the heated air into the home. The supply duct has a damper that can be used to regulate the flow of air as it leaves the furnace. Some dampers are manually operated by a small handle, but others are powered by electricity and respond to signals from the thermostat.
Return Duct: The return duct pulls cool air into the furnace. This part passes the fresh air supply through a filter before it enters the blower chamber.
Condensate Drain: Passing cool and warm air through a system inevitably draws humidity out of the air. The condensate drain passes accumulated moisture safely out of the system to prevent corrosion in the furnace.
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Warranties with your new furnace and parts
Most warranties for a full furnace replacement are about 10 years, unlike replacement parts they can be anywhere from a 5-10 year warranty depending on the product make and model. Most of the companies will offer you the customer and extra or additional warranty that will cover the parts for a longer period of time. Warranties that you are entitled to include: manufacturer warranty which includes parts warranty, heat exchanger warranty).
Be sure to read the fine print carefully and ensure that you register your warranties so that they are on file. Some warranties require annual maintenance and cleaning be done a certified technician.
You may also get additional labour warranty coverage on the installation through one of our licensed HVAC technicians who complete’s your new home furnace installation, typically for the period of one year.
Most generic furnaces will have a shorter period of warranty compared to a premium furnace, you get what you pay for, so you will want to explore all options before making a final decision on which is best suited to your house.