Is your furnace cranked up, but you still feel cold indoors? Have you had this problem for months, causing your energy bills to skyrocket? Or perhaps your heating system has had to undergo multiple repairs in the past year or two.
Those are all solid signs that you should consider replacing your furnace soon. Even more so if it’s already about a decade old, makes weird, obnoxious sounds, and has cracks and rust.
However, today’s furnace installations and replacements can cost around $2,500 to $6,990. So, the last thing you want is to make mistakes when shelling out that much money.
This guide shares tips to help you avoid such costly errors, so please read on.
Incorrect Furnace Size
British Thermal Unit (BTU) is the unit used to measure a furnace’s capacity for heating a home. Before, an accepted estimate was to assign 12,000 BTUs for every 400 to 500 square feet of a home.
That’s no longer the case today. One reason is that it doesn’t account for other factors that affect heating and cooling, such as:
- The climate in San Diego, CA
- If there’s existing insulation (and its type, age, and state)
- The number of windows installed and level of sun exposure
- The height of the ceiling
- The condition of the existing ductwork
- The number of occupants
Taking into account all those factors is crucial in the proper sizing of a furnace. Highly experienced HVAC contractors must follow the Manual J calculation to achieve this.
So, when interviewing potential furnace installation companies, ask if they use this method. They must, as it’s vital to preventing the following size-related furnace installation mistakes.
While an oversized furnace can heat a home faster, it has a higher purchase and installation cost.
Because it achieves the desired temperature too quickly, it shuts down faster. It then turns on and off repeatedly and more frequently. This is a problem that HVAC professionals refer to as “short cycling.”
Under normal conditions, a furnace cycle should last 10 to 15 minutes. However, that can decrease to a few minutes, even seconds, in a short-cycling system!
A short-cycling unit uses more energy than necessary due to its increased cycles. It’s also more prone to early wear and tear. So, with an oversized system, you’ll likely have to call a pro for furnace repairs more often.
A smaller furnace can cost less to buy and install, but it’ll unlikely heat your home adequately. This may force you to run it longer and at higher settings. These issues can lead to higher heating bills and premature wear, tear, and breakdowns.
Not Considering the Ductwork
Correctly installed and maintained furnaces can last 15 to 25 years, while ducting can last at least 60 years. So, if your ducts are way younger than that, you may not need to replace them just because you’re getting a new furnace.
However, that doesn’t mean your ducts are in 100% optimal working condition, either. They may have crushed or kinked sections that impede airflow. They may also have punctures or holes that allow conditioned air to leak and go to waste.
Even if you buy one of the most energy-efficient brands and types of furnaces, it won’t do much good if you have faulty ducts.
An in-home estimate is one of the best ways to avoid such problems. The good news is that you can expect this to be free if you hire a reputable San Diego HVAC contractor.
Highly experienced technicians will inspect your ductwork for issues during that initial visit. They’ll then let you know if you have ducts that need repairs or replacements. If there’s none, perfect; they can proceed with the furnace installation as early as the next day.
Focusing on Cost Alone
As mentioned above, a new furnace can cost between $2,500 and $6,990. That’s a lot of money, but remember, that’s spread over a 15- to 25-year lifespan.
Still, even the lower-end $2,500 can be steep for homeowners, which may force them to get something cheaper. Unfortunately, some of these products are inefficient and may have low-quality materials. They cost less upfront but may also cost more in the long run as they can break down faster and use more energy.
If budget is an issue for your furnace installation, consider applying for HVAC financing. These programs have deals like 0% interest for 12 months and interest rates as low as 5.99%. With their help, you can get a highly efficient, top-quality furnace with affordable monthly payments.
Failing to Check the HVAC Contractor’s Qualifications
In California, anyone who performs HVAC work valued at $500 or more must have a license. It should be a valid license issued by the Contractors State License Board (CSLB). It’s illegal to perform jobs with such worth without the appropriate licensure.
Such licensure laws exist to protect consumers from shoddy work.
For one, license applicants must prove they have at least four years of HVAC work experience. They must also pass a trade exam and a law and business exam.
The CSLB also requires HVAC contractors to meet bond and insurance requirements. These safeguard you from damages due to defective products or service flaws. They also protect you from liability if something happens to an HVAC tech completing a job at your home.
All that makes hiring a licensed HVAC contractor vital for your safety and peace of mind. It also pays to check if they’re a highly-rated and well-reviewed company. Reading client reviews can help you learn more about their reliability and professionalism.
Avoid Costly Mistakes During Furnace Installations
Improper furnace installations can result in poor system performance and higher energy bills. Installation mistakes can also shorten the lifespan of otherwise high-quality and efficient systems.
So, to avoid such costly errors, only hire a licensed, highly experienced HVAC contractor.
Air Pro Heating & Air Conditioning is a premier, highly-rated HVAC service provider in the San Diego area (Chula Vista, National City, El Cajon, Oceanside, Escondido. Our team of licensed, insured experts has over 40 years of combined experience.
Reach out to us today to request your free in-home estimate! You can count on us to provide high-quality furnace installation with guarantees.