Doesn’t it feel like the seasons change quickly? Even though it’s still pretty warm outside, fall is just around the corner, and you know what happens after fall—Ice. Cold. Winter.
Instead of waiting until the last minute to get a new furnace, now’s the perfect time to start planning ahead. All too often homeowners are reactive buyers, meaning they don’t get a new furnace until theirs breaks down in the middle of December. Smart, money-savvy homeowners are proactive buyers. When they know their furnace may need an upgrade, even if it still runs, they jump on the wagon to get the best deal.
Our HVAC technicians at Santa Fe Air often get questions about when to buy a furnace and other heating tips. If you’re looking to answer the same question, keep reading for our in-depth guide to help you stay warm during the winter chill.
So, when is the best time to buy a new furnace?
The best time to buy and install a new furnace is during the spring and fall months. During those times, HVAC companies are less busy and furnaces are not as much in demand. We’re not going to turn this into an economics 101 lesson, but when something isn’t as much in demand, the price drops. That means if you start looking at furnaces this fall, you’ll more than likely get the best deal as opposed to waiting until the dead of winter.
Now, that’s the quick answer. Understanding whether or not you need a new furnace is the tricky part. We’re not the type of HVAC company to tell you to spend buckets of cash on something you don’t need; sometimes your furnace simply requires a repair instead of a full replacement.
So let’s move on to help make the decision a little clearer.
Signs that your furnace needs to be replaced
There are often telltale signs that a furnace is on its last run. If you’re striving to become one of those proactive buyers, it’s important to be able to catch those signs before it’s too late. Based on our decades of experience, here are a few things you should look out for.
The age of your furnace
It’s great to have a long-lasting relationship with your furnace, but there comes a time when you have to say goodbye. Specifically, that time comes after around 15 to 20 years. Folks, it’s 2020, so that furnace you got in 2000 (yes, we know it feels like yesterday), is about ready to take its final bow. If you want to know more specifics about your furnace, you can always contact its manufacturer.
Your utility bill is out of this world
By out of this world, we don’t mean it as a good thing. If your utility bill has skyrocketed to a place your pocket can no longer afford, that could be a sign that your furnace needs to retire. When a furnace isn’t working efficiently, it takes more work to reach the temperature on your thermostat. In some cases, the furnace will run and run and still not get your home warm enough. With all that energy expenditure, you’ll only be spending more money with no pay off.
Repairs, repairs, and more repairs
Tired of calling an HVAC technician for heating repairs? We get it. Even though repairs may seem less expensive than a full replacement, after a while, all of those repairs stack up… and fast. Plus, excessive repairs typically point to a dying furnace. Temporary fixes can only get you so far, and if you’re constantly having to tinker with your furnace, think about saving for a new one.
Repairs are becoming too pricey
Along with having to get too many repairs, how much is a repair costing you? A simple fix shouldn’t cause too much damage, but if you’re cashing out each time you call a technician, there might be a problem there. Many older furnaces are more expensive to repair because the replacements parts are harder to find. Also, it can take longer to find parts, which means your furnace may not get repaired quickly—a major pain on a cold winter night.
So how expensive is too expensive before it’s not worth repairing? As a solid rule of thumb, if the cost of the repair is 50% of the cost of a new furnace, just go ahead and replace it (you’ll thank us later).
You’re getting ready to move
You know what would be a bummer? Buying a home with a wonky furnace. If it were you looking for a new home, you’d probably ask the owner to replace the furnace or you’d look elsewhere. Your prospective buyers probably won’t be any different. Just because you’re about to leave, doesn’t mean you should leave your furnace to the wayside. Plus, installing a brand new furnace can help increase your property value!
How to afford a furnace replacement
Now that you know when to buy a furnace, let’s jump into how to afford a new furnace. Some people wait until the very last minute because they’re afraid of the cost. But as we said before, if you wait, you could be missing out on great deals, meaning you could spend even more money. Isn’t that the opposite of the point?
Instead, get strategic with furnace buying. So first, buy and install your furnace in the spring or summer. Make sure you shop around and ask for different quotes. You don’t want to overpay, but you also don’t want something so oddly cheap that it’s not going to work. When you know you’re planning on buying a furnace (and there’s no rush because you’re being proactive), then you have time to put aside money each month toward the new system.
Next, consider looking at potential rebates. Rebates are a way for you to get money back from your purchase in the future. For Kansas City homeowners, there are two main types of rebates you can look for:
- Manufacturer rebates
- Utility rebates
Manufacturer rebates: Manufacturers of heating systems often offer rebates to entice you to purchase their system over a competing system. For example, York and Carrier frequently offer rebates for purchasing new, complete systems (both air conditioner and furnace).
Utility rebates: Many utility companies also offer rebates to their customers for upgrading to more efficient equipment. For example, if you live in the Kansas City, Missouri area and you’re an Evergy customer, you could qualify for a rebate on a new heating or cooling system.
How to find the right HVAC contractor to install your furnace
You’ve figured out when to buy a furnace, you’ve decided whether or not you need a new furnace, and you’ve also found some great ways to save for a furnace… whew, try to say all of that in one breath. Your next step is to find a trustworthy, licensed contractor to get the job done right the first time. Here are a few things you should consider.
Licensed, bonded, and insured… all are must haves.
Make sure the technician is licensed, bonded, and insured before they get to work on installing your new heater. Rules are rules, folks. There are certain requirements a technician has to fulfill to perform a job.
City permits shouldn’t be ignored.
Ask if he or she will pull the necessary city permits for the job. Some jobs will require a city permit, and doing so proves a technician will perform the installation according to codes.
An AHRI Certificate is more than a piece of paper.
Ask if the contractor offers an AHRI Certificate (Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Institute) on new HVAC equipment. The technician you hire should provide an AHRI certificate with each new equipment installation to show that the advertised features of a particular HVAC unit are accurate.
Got upfront written estimates? Please and thank you.
Confirm they offer upfront pricing estimates, but don’t just take their word for it. As we like to say, it’s all in the writing. A written estimate is basically legal protection for you and the contractor that will hold both parties to their word.
Four- and five-star reviews reign supreme.
Look for good customer reviews. Reviews give you a first-hand glimpse on how other customers feel about a company. Try to find a company that has a consistent 4 to 5 star rating. Anything below that probably isn’t something you want.
Learn more about when to buy a furnace from our technicians at Santa Fe Air
If you’re not sure when to buy a furnace in Kansas City, don’t worry! At Santa Fe Air, we pride ourselves on knowing all things heating, cooling, and electrical. We’re the best HVAC company in Kansas City, and we help people in the KC and Johnson County areas get the most out of their heating and cooling systems.
No matter what, our customers receive pristine service each and every time. Through our dedication and care, we ensure we get the job done right the first time—no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Since 1987 (yep, you read that correctly!) we’ve provided the best service by treating our customers like family, keeping our word, and avoiding upselling just to catch an extra buck. In the end, you get to make the final decision about what’s best for our home to maximize your family’s comfort; we’re just here to help you get there!
Get started today with a free online quote.