Q: I have heard from friends that I should stay away from buying a high efficient furnace because they have more problems. Is this true?
The difference between an 80% furnace and a 90%+ furnace is that the 90%+ has a secondary heat exchanger to transfer more heat into the home thus making it more efficient. The 90%+ furnace is also known as a condensing furnace. This means it produces a small amount of water as a result of having much lower flue gas temperatures. This condensation is carried away through a drain line on the furnace. If the furnace is installed properly and regular maintenance is performed then the answer is "False". The answer would be true if you could still purchase a 50 year old furnace today.
Q: How do I know what size system my home requires when each contractor has recommended a different size?
This is always a tough one to answer because even if a contractor performs a "Manual J" heat load, they can make compensations within the program to obtain the end result they are seeking. Keep in mind there are only 4 - 5 different sized furnaces each manufacturer produces and you want to install the size closest to your needs without being too small!
As a close rule of thumb, you can multiply the square footage of your home which is above ground by the ceiling height to obtain your total cubic feet of air space. Multiply that number by (4) if your home is 20 years or newer. Multiply by (4.5) if your home is 20 - 30 years old and multiply by (5) if it is over 30 years old. This answer will be the minimum Btu Output rating your home needs, not to be confused with the Btu Input rating.
Q: Why won't some contractors quote an approximate repair price over the phone when I know what I need?
Ask yourself these questions, "What am I not going to get?" "Why didn't they quote me that price to begin with?" "Now who will they send out to install it?" Need we say more....
Q: What brand of equipment should I choose to install?
When you call some companies, they will quote you a low price upfront, usually called a "trip" or "travel" charge, and then state that they don't know what the repair charge is for the item you’re requesting even when they have flat-rate pricing. Beware! They usually want to get the opportunity to get in your home and quote you a price much higher than most other HVAC companies will charge. An honest company will always tell you a very close total cost before going out to your home.