8 Shopping Tips for a New Furnace

When you live in Canada, your home can experience a variety of weather conditions and temperatures across the four seasons. If you’re looking to buy a new furnace, there are several things you need to consider so that you make the correct choice for your needs.

If you choose the wrong furnace, you might pay more in energy bills, your home won’t heat correctly, or you’ll be overall dissatisfied with your investment. Keep reading to learn some of the most important things to consider when you’re buying a new furnace.

1. Efficiency

Unless your older furnace has quit working entirely, you may think that it’s doing okay and needn’t be replaced. But unless it’s a high-efficiency model, you’re probably spending a lot more on fuel than you need to every cold season. The latest in high-efficiency furnaces can save up to 45 percent of your heating bill compared to your older furnace. They’re also quieter and keep your home warmer while doing less work.

Always aim for an efficiency rating of at least 95 percent, and is both Energy Star and EnerGuide-certified.


The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating, or AFUE, is how furnaces are graded. This gives you a rough estimate of the fuel your furnace will turn into heat during the year. Older furnaces usually achieve only 65 percent, which translates into almost half the fuel your unit uses is being wasted. New high-efficiency models have an AFUE as high as 98.5 percent, so almost all the fuel it burns is used to heat your home. This way, you’ll have a lot less waste and lower heating bills.

3. Age

Older isn’t always better! If your furnace is over 20 years old, you’re likely paying up to 45 percent more on your heating bills than you need to. As mentioned above, a newer, high-efficiency furnace is designed to be fuel efficient.

4. When to Replace

For the best savings over time, you should upgrade as soon as possible. If your furnace is broken down and winter is coming, obviously you can’t wait for the best deal; however, most HVAC companies will offer a bundle deal where you can have a new furnace and AC installed that will save you money. You may even qualify for government rebates and subsidies.

5. Installation is More Important than Brand

There are a lot of good brands out there, but if you have a bad technician who doesn’t do the best job installing your furnace, it won’t do you any good. Make sure you always choose a TSSA-certified (or equivalent) contractor. A shoddily-installed furnace will end up costing you more in the long run and could even cause your gas company to red-tag you, which means if the unit isn’t brought up to code within seven days, they’ll shut off your gas.

6. Financing Options

Financing allows you to pay for your furnace on a schedule that will work for you and your family. You can pay upfront, or spread your payments out over a year or more, depending on your preference. There are also rent to own options.

7. Talk to Experts

Most reputable HVAC companies will offer a quote request form on their website where you can ask whatever questions you want. You can discuss your requirements, home size and layout, climate, and all of the issues that you should take into consideration when choosing a furnace. You can discuss the installation process, operating instructions, maintenance, and costs.

8. Get Free Estimates

Along with a quote request form, many HVAC companies will offer you a free estimate. The contractor will come to your home and give you an estimate of cost and will further discuss any of your questions and concerns.