Which Is The Best Furnace?

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People always ask me, “What is the best brand furnace?”

My answer is always as follows. Manufacturers have been making furnaces for tens of years and know how to build furnaces properly. The furnaces are thoroughly tested in the factory and are all capable of performing properly for many years IF APPLIED AND INSTALLED PROPERLY.

The most important factor in the proper performance and reliability of any furnace is how well it is installed. People focus way too much on which brand furnace to buy without thinking much about the greatest factor which is the installer.

In the exerpt below, you will see that the best contractors are members of trade organizations. Two great trade organizations in Ontario are the HRAI and ClimateCare.

Please see this article from the CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)

Is Furnace “A” better than Furnace “B”? How can I find that out?

There is little or no available data to show that one manufacturer’s furnace will operate longer and with less trouble than a furnace from another manufacturer. This is frustrating for consumers. We are used to being able to read ratings of one product versus another product and to make a choice based on those ratings. However, a good furnace will last 25 years. A poor one may break down prematurely at 15 years. With lifetimes of this length, and with furnace design and model changes, it is hard to predict which furnace will provide the best service.

There are two factors to help you in your choice. Pick a furnace with a long heat exchanger warranty, 20 years or more. If manufacturers are willing to back the most expensive part of their appliance for a long time, this should inspire some confidence. Also, pick a furnace manufacturer and a dealer that have been in business for a significant period of time. A furnace with a lifetime warranty offered by a company that has been in operation for only three years may not be the best deal. One would expect to pay less for this level of uncertainty. Look for contractors with memberships in trade organizations such as HRAI, which would indicate an interest in professional qualifications.

Once you choose a contractor, the next thing to focus on are the features of the furnace that would best suit the needs of your home. We will discuss furnace features in future postings.

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