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Checklist for Buying a New Heating System

A new heating system is a big investment, but it’s also an expense that can pay off quickly! There have been huge strides in energy efficiency of new heating systems in recent years, so you should be enjoying the benefits of lower energy bills with the increased efficiency of your new system right away. You will also experience a quieter system that runs less, and you will be lowering your home’s or business’s impact on the environment.

When it is time to invest in a replacement or new heating system, we hope you will let 207 Plumbing & Heating offer you a professional estimate! In the meantime, this checklist should help make the process go more smoothly:

Do you really need a new heating system?

Your first step is to confirm that you need a replacement. Depending on the age of your current system, sometimes equipment can be repaired and have parts replaced. Have a reputable, professional heating contractor conduct an inspection of your current unit and give you an assessment. Typically, furnaces and boilers last between 15 and 20 years, and the older the unit is, the less efficient it is.

Prepare & Do Your Research

There are a lot of factors to consider before scheduling your new installation. Things to consider include: the many different types of heating systems, energy sources available to you, the size of the system, choosing the right heating contractor, warranties and incentive programs, along with maintenance agreements.

Doing some online research yourself and talking to friends, family and neighbors about their heating system is a great place to start, just to educate yourself on the different equipment and other considerations specific to your area or situation. When you are ready, contact your local heating installation professional to come meet with you to discuss your options and costs. Other things to consider before you invest in a new heating system are if you are planning any remodeling or additions to your home in the future, if your family size will be changing, and how you use your heating system. You want to be sure your new system meets the needs of your household.

Choosing a New Heating System

Now that you’ve checked out some manufacturers and considered your use and other parameters for your system, it’s time to choose what brand meets your needs and budget best. Select a brand that is endorsed by your HVAC professional. They will have experience with the models offered, easy access to all the parts and accessories you might require, and may also be able to offer a better warranty as a “preferred dealer”.

When shopping for your new heating system consider:

  • BTU Output
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Manufacturer’s Warranty
  • Space Constraints
  • Cost
  • Service after the Sale

Apples to Apples Cost Comparisons

When you replace or install a new heating system, there are two costs involved: the price of the equipment and the cost of professional installation. Your HVAC contractor will provide both of these to you, and if you are getting multiple estimates, it’s important you compare apples to apples for a fair assessment of your best option.

Different contractors carry or work with different manufacturers. Be sure you know the make and model of the system being quoted. There is a wide range of equipment on the market, and quality and lifespan can be dramatically different from one manufacturer to another. Discuss the equipment choices with your heating professional, and do some research on the equipment manufacturer pertaining to warrantees, ratings, customer satisfaction, etc.

Don’t simply choose your new system and installer based on price point. Because the cost of equipment can vary considerably, and the experience and training of your heating contractor will impact their installation costs. Selecting the right contractor will save you a lot of money and trouble in the long run – poor installation and cheap equipment will only create more service calls in your future and reduce the longevity of your new system.

Financing & Programs

Heating systems are a big-ticket item, so many people don’t have that cash on hand to pay up front. If you have equity in your home or business, and equity loan or line of credit could be a good option for you. Also, many heating system installation professionals offer financing options, so ask your installer for information.

Many states have energy efficiency organizations that offer programs and rebates for people upgrading their systems to higher efficiency units. Efficiency Maine has several programs, incentives and rebates they offer, many that provide significant savings.

We hope you found this checklist helpful! At 207 Plumbing & Heating, we install all types of heating systems – hot air furnaces, forced-hot water boilers and heat pumps, for all energy sources including oil, propane, natural gas and electric. We’re here to help you every step of the way – call us for a FREE estimate and to learn how we can upgrade or install a new heating system for you!