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Serving North Side of Chicago, Northshore, North & Northwest Suburbs

How To Choose A Furnace


As a heating company we often have our customers ask, “What furnace do you recommend?” From a performance and customer satisfaction standpoint, we are here to be honest with you, and we will tell you that it really doesn’t matter. Sounds crazy? A furnace is unlike any other appliance in your home. The dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer, or dryer are self-contained units, and the surroundings have very little impact on their operation.

Now, Let’s look at the furnace:

The furnace itself has a blower, controls, heat exchanger, and combustion components which are all self-contained. However, operation of a furnace is only correct if it is connected to the right distribution duct system, filtration system and the installation in the original furnace space. Here is the start of some of the external factors that will influence every ducted furnace.

  • Air Filter
    • What size is it?
    • Does it cause substantial restrictions?
    • Is it clean or dirty?
  • Evaporator Coil
    • What size is it?
    • How restrictive is it?
    • Has dirt and hair accumulated on the coil?
    • Does the coil extend too far into the plenum ductwork causing poor air distribution?
  • Ductwork
    • Is it sized properly, supply & return duct system?
    • Is it sealed?
    • Are there breaks in the ductwork highway?
    • Was it properly engineered and installed?
      • These are two very different skills.
    • Most times these two professions never meet or talk about the project.
    • Is it properly insulated in unconditioned spaces?
    • Have duct boosters been installed to hide duct malfunctions?
  • Home Décor
    • Does the furniture cover the floor registers?
    • Are the return grills covered by furniture?
    • Are the return grills covered with dust, thus blocking airflow?

These factors are not limited to just these questions. There are always more questions to consider.

This is why American Weathermakers focuses on a proper install and testing of additional systems. When furnaces are properly installed, they will work and perform correctly providing the above factors are reviewed and corrected. The leading cause of malfunction is not necessarily the parts of the furnace, but almost always the external problems that if not addressed causes undo stress on the furnace. If not fixed properly the issues will continue to recur.

American Weathermakers Consumer Alert

Did you ask the right questions of your contractor? (Questions)

  • Have you reviewed the duct system as part of your quote?
  • Share issues you’re experiencing with the old furnace (a new furnace does not mean that those problems will go away.)
  • If this was your house, what would you do differently?

Has the contractor asked you the right questions?

  1. How often do you change your filter?
  2. Does the ductwork expand or contract?
  3. Does the ductwork whistle?
  4. Have you ever had the evaporator coil freeze?
  5. Are all the rooms comfortable throughout the year?
  6. Do you have a lot of dust in the house?
  7. Is there anything else to consider when we replace the furnace?

Remember, hold your heating contractor to the highest professional standards to ensure your investment is protected.

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