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Top Questions to Ask When Buying an HVAC System, Such as a Furnace or Air Conditioner

Get the right heating and cooling solution for your home by asking these questions.

August 17, 2023

When it comes to maintaining or upgrading your HVAC system, making informed decisions is crucial. Whether you are buying a new HVAC system or replacing an old one, having the right information can save you money, improve energy efficiency, and ensure optimal comfort for your home. 

Explore the essential questions to ask an HVAC technician when it comes to buying or replacing an HVAC system or buying a new furnace, empowering you to make the best choices for your heating and cooling needs.

What to Ask When Buying a New HVAC System

Investing in a new HVAC system is a significant decision that impacts your home's comfort and energy consumption for years to come. 

Here are essential questions to ask when considering this major purchase:

1.  What Size System Do I Need? 

Proper sizing is critical for optimal efficiency and comfort. Ask the HVAC technician to perform a load calculation to determine the ideal size of the HVAC system based on your home's square footage, insulation, and other factors.

2. What Efficiency Ratings Should I Look For? 

Efficiency ratings such as SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) for air conditioners and AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) for furnaces indicate the system's energy efficiency. Higher ratings mean better energy savings, so discuss the most suitable options for your budget. Also, check for ENERGY STAR labels. To earn the ENERGY STAR, a product has to meet strict energy efficiency criteria set by the EPA or the U.S. Department of Energy. 

3. What Type of HVAC System Is Best for My Home? 

There are various HVAC system types, including split systems, packaged systems, ductless mini-splits, and geothermal heat pumps. The technician can guide you in selecting the best HVAC system for you - one that aligns with your home's layout, budget, and energy requirements.

4. Are There Any Rebates or Incentives Available? 

Inquire about potential rebates or incentives offered by manufacturers or local energy efficiency programs that can help offset the initial cost of your new HVAC system. Ask about the Inflation Reduction Act, a recent federal incentive program to encourage homeowners to purchase more energy-efficient appliances. 

5.  What Is the Total Cost, Including Installation? 

Ensure you get a comprehensive quote that includes the cost of the HVAC unit, installation, additional components, and any necessary upgrades or modifications.

6.  Can You Provide References or Testimonials from Previous Customers? 

It's always beneficial to hear about other customers' experiences with the HVAC technician and their satisfaction with the products and services offered. Requesting references or testimonials can help build trust in your decision-making process.

7. What Maintenance Plans Do You Offer? 

Understanding the available maintenance plans can help you establish a long-term relationship with the HVAC company, ensuring regular servicing and prolonging the lifespan of your new HVAC system.

Questions to Ask When Replacing an HVAC System

The frequency of replacing an HVAC system depends on several factors, including the type of system, its age, usage, maintenance, and technological advancements. On average, the lifespan of an HVAC system is about 15 to 20 years. If you are replacing your existing HVAC system, it's essential to evaluate your needs and expectations for the new unit. 

Here are questions to ask when replacing an HVAC system.

1. What Are the Current System's Efficiency and Performance? 

A Trane technician can assess your old system's efficiency and help you understand how upgrading to a new one can lead to cost savings over time. Many of the newer HVAC systems have unique energy and cost-saving features. 

2. Is It Also Time to Upgrade My Ductwork? 

Ductwork plays a significant role in the HVAC system's performance. The technician can inspect your existing ducts to determine if repairs or replacements are necessary.

3. What Advanced Features Are Available in New HVAC Systems? 

Modern HVAC systems offer innovative features like smart thermostats, zoning options, and variable-speed technology. Discuss these features with the technician and explore how they can benefit your home.

4. Can I Opt for a Zoned System? 

Zoned HVAC systems allow you to control different areas of your home independently, maximizing comfort and energy efficiency. Inquire whether zoning is a viable option for your home.

5. How Much Can I Expect to Save on Energy Bills?

 Replacing an old, inefficient HVAC system with a new one can result in significant energy savings. Ask the technician to estimate potential cost savings based on the new system's efficiency.

6. What Is the Installation Timeline? 

Understanding the time required for installation helps you plan for any inconvenience and ensure a smooth transition from the old to the new HVAC system.

7. Are There Any Tax Credits Available for Energy-Efficient Systems? 

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) includes tax credits that reward homeowners for purchasing qualifying high-efficiency HVAC systems, including furnaces, ACs, heat pumps, fans, and more. In some regions, installing energy-efficient HVAC systems may qualify you for other tax credits or other financial incentives. 

What to Consider When Buying a New Furnace

If you are looking to buy a new furnace, you should be well informed to ensure you select the best one for your home's heating needs. Ask the following questions to your HVAC technician:

1. Is a Gas or Electric Furnace More Suitable for My Home? 

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of gas and electric furnaces and choose the one that aligns with your home's infrastructure and energy source availability.

2. How Long Is the Typical Lifespan of the Furnace Model I'm Considering? 

Understanding the expected lifespan of the furnace can help you plan for future replacements and budget accordingly.

3. Are There Any Safety Features I Should Be Aware Of? 

Modern furnaces come with advanced safety features to protect your home and family. Discuss these features to ensure you have peace of mind.

4. Will the New Furnace Be Compatible with My Existing HVAC System?

Compatibility is crucial when it comes time to buy a new furnace, especially if you have a heat pump or an air conditioning system that relies on the furnace for heating.

5. What Are the Warranty Terms and Coverage? 

Inquire about the warranty details for the furnace, including the coverage period, what it includes, and any optional extended warranty offerings.

6. Can I Upgrade to a More Efficient System Without Replacing the Entire HVAC System? 

If you're on a budget, consider discussing options to buy a new furnace alone for better efficiency without replacing the entire HVAC system.

Choosing the Best HVAC System for Your Home with Trane

Choosing a home heating and cooling system is a difficult decision. If you want to get the best system for your home — and feel good about it, go with a dealer you can trust. See for yourself why we’re America’s most trusted HVAC brand.

Making informed decisions and knowing what to ask when buying a new HVAC system is essential for achieving optimal home comfort and energy efficiency. Whether you're purchasing a new HVAC system or replacing an existing one, asking the right questions to an experienced HVAC technician is the first step.

Talk to your local Trane Comfort Specialist today and schedule an in-home evaluation. Our expertise can help you navigate through the various options, choose the most suitable HVAC system for your home, and ensure a seamless installation process. 

Take charge of your home comfort and energy efficiency with the guidance of a trusted Trane professional.

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