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Furnace Buying Guide 2022-2023: How to Choose a New Furnace

By: Team ProSolutions

This Furnace Buying Guide was originally published in 2021. The guide was updated in September 2022 to reflect the best furnace buying tips for 2022-2023.

Need a new furnace for your Edmonton home this year? If so, now is the time to start looking at your options! When buying a new HVAC system, there are multiple factors to consider - from size and efficiency to the best furnace brands. So, as one of the best furnace installation companies in Edmonton, we’ve put together a furnace buying guide to explain how to choose a new furnace.

Our furnace buying guide discusses everything you need to know about buying a furnace in 2022-2023. Once you’re done reading, you’ll know precisely how to choose the perfect furnace for your home. Plus, our furnace experts will share their top recommended HVAC systems and what they have in their homes.

Here’s what you need to know when buying a furnace in 2022/2023.

How does a furnace work?

Infographic showing how a common Edmonton home furnace works

To choose the best furnace for your Edmonton home, it’s a good idea to know how a furnace works. So, we will break down the process for you in this furnace buying guide. Don’t worry - how a furnace works is not nearly as complex as most people think! In fact, we’ll explain it in just five simple steps.

Since we’re willing to bet you have a gas furnace in your Edmonton home (most furnaces in Alberta are gas), let’s look at how a gas furnace works. 

  1. When you turn on the heat in your home (or turn up the heat or the temperature falls below a set point), the thermostat sends a signal to your furnace. This signal tells your furnace it is time to start heating cool air.

  2. When the furnace receives this signal, it opens a gas value. The gas that is released ignites the furnace’s burners. To ensure the safety of you and your home, sensors in your furnace check to ensure that all the burners are lit. If one of the burners has not ignited, the entire unit will shut down for a moment before attempting to reignite.

  3. Once all the burners are lit, they work together to heat the furnace’s heat exchanger.

  4. After the heat exchanger has reached a specific temperature, the blower motor starts. Cool air comes through your home’s ductwork toward the heat exchanger. The blower motor blows the cool air over the heat exchanger. This process warms the air.

  5. Finally, the furnace's blower forces the warm air into your home's ductwork. This network of ducts delivers warm air to the rest of your home. Once the air in your home reaches the set temperature, the thermostat signals the furnace to stop.

How long should a furnace last?

Most furnaces last approximately 15 to 20 years. This means you should replace your HVAC system every 15 to 20 years. 

Keep in mind that this is an average. A high-quality system will be the most reliable and last the longest - especially if it is well-maintained. In fact, regular maintenance will help maximize the lifetime of your furnace and reduce the likelihood of major repairs.

PRO TIP: There’s a formula that HVAC professionals use to decide if it’s worth repairing or replacing a furnace. Continue reading this furnace buying guide to learn this formula.

Want your furnace to last longer? Finding a professional furnace installation and maintenance expert to install your new furnace and conduct regular maintenance is just as important as choosing the furnace itself. 

A local furnace company is the best choice if you live in the Edmonton area. They will be familiar with the climate in your area. As a result, they will know how to best care for your HVAC system. Hiring a local company is especially important in Alberta, as winters can be extremely cold, taking a toll on your furnace.

ProSolutions furnace technician installing new furnace in Edmonton home

How do you know when your furnace needs to be replaced?

In some cases, determining when your furnace needs to be replaced is straightforward. For example, if your furnace is no longer running efficiently, it’s probably best to buy a new furnace. However, if your HVAC system requires repairs, it can be more difficult to decide - especially if the repairs will be costly. 

Luckily, heating, plumbing, and air conditioning companies use a simple equation to determine whether a unit should be repaired or replaced. The equation compares repair costs and how many years a furnace has left with the cost of a new furnace.

So, if you need to decide whether to repair or replace your furnace, here’s how you can tell:

Step 1. Calculate - Cost of Repair x Age of the Unit (in years)

Step 2. Compare the number above to the cost of replacing your unit

Step 3. If the number you calculated in the first step is greater than the cost of replacing your furnace, then you should REPLACE YOUR FURNACE

Furnace Repair vs Replace Example

Your furnace is 10 years old and is going to cost $700 to repair.

Replacing the unit would cost $5,000.

In this case, it would be wise to replace your furnace. Here’s why.

$700 (cost to repair) x 10 (age of unit) = $7,000

$7,000 > $5,000 (cost to replace)

Still unsure if you should repair vs replace your furnace? An Edmonton heating services company can help! As Edmonton homeowners, the experts at ProSolutions Heating Inc. are familiar with the local climate. As a result, we can help you decide if it makes sense to replace your HVAC system or if it would be more cost-effective to repair it.

PRO TIP: got furnace problems and want to save the hassle (and cost) of calling in a professional? Try these DIY furnace troubleshooting tips before you call a heating company.

How much does a new furnace cost?

In Edmonton, you’ll pay around $4,500 to $7,500 for a new furnace, including installation. That said, the cost of a new furnace depends on many factors, such as:

  • Type of furnace 
  • Brand
  • Size
  • Efficiency
  • Installation company you hire, etc.

Another factor to consider when comparing furnace prices is the type of blower motor. There are three common types:

  1. Single-stage - a single-stage blower motor has two settings - ON and OFF. Therefore, the blower motor is either running or not running, with no in-between.

  2. Multi-speed - a multi-speed blower motor typically has two or three speeds. That is, LOW, MEDIUM and HIGH.

  3. Variable speed - variable speed blower motors can operate at many different speeds for more precise temperature control.

*More on single-stage vs multi-speed vs variable-speed furnaces below.

To help you decide which heating option best suits your budget, here’s what you can expect to pay for each type of furnace.

Type of Furnace

Furnace Cost (Including Installation)

Single Stage

$4700 - $5500

2-Stage ECM

$5600 - $6500

2-Stage Variable

$6600 - $7900+

Furnace Installation Costs

Although it will cost more initially, having a professional heating company install your furnace is crucial. This is because a furnace that is installed and calibrated properly will save you money in the long run. It will run more efficiently and be less likely to experience major issues that require costly repairs.

In Alberta, a heat-loss calculation is also required when installing a furnace. This calculation will be done by the Edmonton heating company you hire.

Please note: if you want to know more about how to choose a new furnace after reading this furnace buying guide, our HVAC specialists can provide personalized advice. Our top priority is helping you select the perfect unit for your home and budget. So, give us a call anytime!

Does a new furnace add value to your home?

Can’t decide if you should buy a new furnace because you’ll be selling your home in the near future? No worries!

Although you aren’t likely to get back 100% of what you paid for your furnace, you can expect to recoup a large percentage. In fact, in Canada, homeowners can anticipate receiving 50% to 80% of the total cost of their heating system back when they sell their homes. This is because a newly installed furnace adds value to the home and increases the selling price (especially if it’s a high-efficiency system). As well, a new furnace will help to attract potential buyers. This is particularly true in Alberta, where winters can be extremely cold, and a reliable heating system is a must.

Furnace Buying Guide - How to Choose a New Furnace for Your Home

Man with family reviewing furnace buying guide 2022-2023

There are many factors to consider when choosing an HVAC system. This includes common considerations, such as size and brand, and often forgotten factors like furnace type and efficiency.

Below, our furnace buying guide will look at all the elements you’ll need to consider when choosing a heating system for your home. With these aspects in mind, you’ll be able to find the perfect furnace to keep you and your family comfortable throughout the winter in Edmonton.

What are the different types of furnaces?

There are several different types of furnaces to choose from. This includes four main types:

  • Gas
  • Electric
  • Oil
  • Propane

Gas and electric heating systems are the most common in Alberta. But which type of new furnace is best for you? Let’s examine some advantages and disadvantages of each.

Gas Furnace

Think a gas furnace might be right for your Edmonton home? Here are some gas furnace pros and cons to consider.

Advantages of Gas Furnaces

  • Lowest day-to-day operating costs
  • Highly efficient
  • Easy to find a new gas furnace and gas furnace parts (because this type of furnace is so prevalent in Alberta)

Disadvantages of Gas Furnaces

  • More expensive upfront to buy and install
  • Never 100% efficient

Electric Furnace

Although not as popular as gas furnaces in Edmonton, electric furnaces are also an option. Here are some pros and cons to keep in mind when looking at electric furnaces.

Advantages of Electric Furnaces

  • Lowest upfront cost
  • Easy to install
  • Most efficient option
  • Smaller than gas furnaces (i.e. great for tight spaces)

Disadvantages of Electric Furnaces

  • Higher operating costs

Which Should You Choose - Gas vs Electric?

As you can see, both gas and electric furnaces have pros and cons.

While a gas system is typically more expensive to buy and install, it is less costly to operate, especially in a cold climate like Edmonton. Gas furnaces are also highly efficient. As a result, gas furnaces are by far the most popular option for homeowners in Edmonton and throughout Alberta.

So, according to this furnace buying guide (and HVAC professionals throughout Edmonton), the winner in gas vs electric is - Gas Furnaces. Because gas heating systems are the most reliable and cost-effective in the long run, they come highly recommended by the heating experts at ProSolutions Inc.

In addition to deciding between a gas vs electric furnace, you’ll also need to consider whether you want a single-stage, multi-stage (also known as multi-speed) or variable-stage furnace.

Single-Stage vs Multi-Speed vs Variable Speed Furnaces

You’re probably wondering - how do single-stage vs multi-speed vs variable-speed furnaces compare? And what is the difference between multi-speed and variable-speed furnaces? Let’s take a look.

A single-stage furnace offers two settings - on and off. As a result, temperature control is not nearly as good as with variable-speed and multi-speed furnaces. Single-stage units are also not as energy-efficient, as the motor operates at a constant high speed when the furnace is on.

A multi-speed system can operate at different speeds to heat your home. That is, based on the current and desired temperature, the HVAC system will adjust its speed to reach the desired output. This means that it can better regulate temperature and home comfort. However, a multi-stage furnace typically has only two or three output stages: low, medium and high.

On the other hand, variable speed heating systems can adjust more precisely. A variable-speed HVAC system will continuously monitor the temperature in your home and make slight adjustments to meet your desired temperature. The ability to operate at various speeds allows this type of furnace to provide the best possible climate control and air quality, helping to prevent temperature swings, cold spots, and issues with humidity. Variable-speed furnaces are desirable because of their precise temperature control and higher efficiency. Therefore, variable-speed furnaces are highly recommended by HVAC professionals in Edmonton.

What efficiency furnace should I buy?

Although high-efficiency furnaces cost more to purchase initially, they use less energy and will help you save money long-term, thanks to lower utility bills. Therefore, when buying a new HVAC system, the more efficient it is, the better!

Provincial governments, including the Government of Alberta, also offer rebates for high-efficiency furnaces. For example, under the Edmonton Home Energy Retrofit Accelerator program, Edmonton homeowners can receive up to $250 per unit when they install an ENERGY STAR high-efficiency furnace with an AFUE of 97% or higher.

Now, you might be wondering - how is furnace efficiency measured and what is AFUE? Our furnace buying guide is here to help!

How is furnace efficiency measured?

Furnace efficiency is measured using AFUE. 

AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. AFUE is a ratio that describes the amount of fuel going into your furnace vs how much of that fuel is converted to heat. For example, if your unit has an AFUE of 97%, this means that 97% of the fuel going into the furnace is converted to heat, and only 3% is lost.

A typical gas furnace must have a minimum AFUE of 95% in Canada to be considered energy efficient.

What determines furnace efficiency?

Now that you know how efficiency is measured, you might be asking - what determines the efficiency of a furnace?

There are several factors that determine furnace efficiency. This includes:

  • Furnace model and efficiency rating

  • Type of blower motor (i.e. single-stage, multi-stage, variable speed)

  • Furnace size - choosing the right size furnace for your home will have a huge impact on how efficiently it performs.

  • Age of the furnace - the older a furnace is, the less efficient it will be.

  • Furnace maintenance and repairs - regular maintenance and preventative repairs will ensure that your furnace is running as efficiently as possible.

  • Air filter condition - this is one of the most significant factors that can affect your furnace’s efficiency. A dirty furnace filter will force your unit to work much harder than it needs to, greatly reducing efficiency.

So then, what is the best and most efficient furnace in Edmonton? Our furnace buying guide wouldn’t be complete without some top-notch recommendations.

Amana furnace installed in Edmonton home

What is the best and most efficient furnace in Edmonton? Recommendations from Heating Experts

Are you wondering how to choose a new furnace that is efficient and reliable?

The best and most efficient HVAC systems in Canada are ENERGY STAR certified. When you see an ENERGY STAR label on a new furnace, you can rest assured that it will be highly efficient and reliable, providing the best possible home comfort.

The furnace and heating experts at ProSolutions recommend the following furnaces for Edmonton homeowners:

  • TRANE S9V2-VS - ENERGY STAR certified, up to 97% AFUE
  • TRANE XC95M - ENERGY STAR certified, up to 97.3%
  • AirEase A97MV - ENERGY STAR certified, up to 97% AFUE

PRO TIP: if you opt for a high-efficiency furnace, you can maximize its efficiency even further with the help of a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat will monitor your home and learn your habits so that it can automatically adjust based on your preferences. You can also manage your smart thermostat remotely. Therefore, you can adjust the temperature at any time, from anywhere. This will help to reduce energy use by optimizing the temperature in your home based on the time of day and whether or not you are away.

What size furnace do I need?

Furnace size, or capacity, is another important factor when buying a new furnace.

Our furnace buying guide will walk you through all the most important sizing aspects so you can determine the perfect size unit for your home.

Why is size important?

Furnace size matters for several reasons. First and foremost, if you don’t have the right size furnace for your home, the unit will not be as energy-efficient as it could be. As a result, you will use more energy, increasing your utility bills. In addition, if your HVAC system is the wrong size, it may experience added maintenance requirements and a shorter lifespan.

A furnace that is too big will turn on and off regularly, reducing efficiency and lifespan and increasing the need for maintenance. Alternatively, a unit that is too small will constantly be running as it tries to keep your home warm. In addition to being unable to heat your home properly, the increased workload will boost energy consumption and wear out the unit.

That said, you’re probably wondering - what size furnace do I need?

Before our furnace buying guide looks at how you can determine what size system you'll need, let’s examine how furnace size is measured.

How is furnace size measured?

When plumbing and heating companies, like ProSolutions Inc., refer to furnace “size,” they are not referring to the unit’s dimensions. Rather, size refers to how much heat a unit can produce. Therefore, furnace size is also commonly referred to as heating capacity.

Furnace size, or capacity, is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour. BTU measures energy output. More specifically, it measures the energy required to heat 1 lb of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. For example, a furnace rated 45,000 BTU will produce 45,000 BTUs of energy per hour.

The higher the BTU rating, the more heat a furnace will produce. Therefore, the bigger the space it can comfortably heat.

Now, let’s look at how to choose a new furnace size.

Determining the best furnace size for your Edmonton home

Several different factors determine furnace size. One of the most important aspects is the size of your home. The larger your home, the higher the BTU rating you’ll need.

Below are size recommendations from heating professionals based on the square footage of your home.

SQ. FT. BTUs
1,200 36,000 to 72,000
1,500 45,000 to 90,000
1,800 54,000 to 108,000
2,100 63,000 to 126,000
2,400 72,000 to 144,000
Recommended furnace size based on square footage.

Other factors that will influence the size of your new furnace include:

  • Climate zone you’re located in (for example, Edmonton is in Climate Zone 5)
  • Insulation quality
  • Thickness of your windows
  • Height of your ceilings
  • Number of people in your home
  • Preferred temperature in your home
  • Condition of the basement (for instance, if your basement is large, fully furnished and functional, you may need additional BTUs)

Reading our furnace buying guide and still not sure what size furnace is best for your home? Give the heating pros at ProSolutions a call! Our experienced and local heating technicians can help you determine the perfect size HVAC system for you and your family.

Which furnace brand is best?

There are many great furnace brands on the market in Edmonton. However, some are better suited to harsh Canadian winters.

In Alberta, homeowners require reliable, efficient, and effective heating throughout the winter. Therefore, the heating professionals at ProSolutions recommend the following furnace brands:

  • Amana
  • Trane
  • RunTru by Trane
  • AirEase
  • Ducane
  • WeatherMaker

These furnace brands are known for their quality and reliability. So, you can rest easy knowing you won’t encounter any unexpected problems with your unit during a cold winter night.

Looking for some brand-specific guidance? Check out our branded furnace buying guides below. Whether you’re wondering about Trane, AirEase, Ducane or other top furnace brands, our heating specialists are familiar with all of them! 

We’ve compiled these guides to help you decide which furnace brand is best for your home (and budget). 

Furnace Brand Guides

Need personalized assistance choosing the best furnace? Our team can help. Give us a shout and we’ll offer our expert advice.

Furnace Buying Guide - Other Considerations

Alberta homeowner checking furnace filter

In addition to type, efficiency, size, brand, and cost, there are a few other considerations to keep in mind when buying a new furnace.

Our furnace buying guide wouldn't be complete without mentioning the following aspects of how to choose a new furnace:

Maintenance

HVAC maintenance and tune-ups are extremely important. Regular maintenance will help to ensure your furnace is running efficiently and help extend its lifetime. 

Although your furnace requires regular maintenance, including filter changes and tune-ups, it should not need constant repairs. This is why it’s so important to buy a reliable brand. Furnaces from reliable brands are less likely to need regular repairs. Parts and qualified technicians are also readily available if repairs are necessary.

Want to know how to spot furnace problems before a complete breakdown? Check out these tell-tale Furnace Warning Signs.

Warranty

You’ll also want to ensure your new furnace has a good warranty. A furnace’s warranty says a lot about the brand and whether they believe in their product. Therefore, less reliable brands will typically have more limited warranties. If you’re looking for a great warranty, check out Amana. Amana furnaces are the only furnaces that come with a lifetime replacement warranty!

Features

Modern HVAC systems offer an array of features, with high-end units offering the most innovation and technology. Some popular furnace features you may want to consider for your home include:

  • Smart Thermostat Compatibility - this will allow you to automate the heating in your home and control your furnace via Wi-Fi.

  • Noise Reduction Technology - new furnaces may offer noise reduction technology. This can be beneficial if you want your furnace to run smoothly and quietly in the background.

  • Diagnostic Technology - many modern furnaces come with built-in self-diagnostics. This will alert you to performance problems and maintenance needs, helping to ensure your system is always in excellent running condition.

  • Air Filtration and Humidity Control - if you have pets, asthma or another respiratory condition or want to keep the air in your house as fresh and clean as possible, consider buying a system with built-in filtering capabilities and humidity control. Alternatively, you can purchase an add-on air filtration system.

  • Zoned Heating - a furnace with zone control capabilities will allow you to set different temperatures in different rooms. This is especially helpful if you have a large home or several people prefer different temperatures.

Financing Options

Need a new furnace but don’t have the cash upfront? Don’t worry. There are numerous furnace financing options available for Edmonton homeowners.

To offer you some of the best furnace financing solutions out there, ProSolutions has partnered with SNAP Home Finance. Together with our furnace financing partner, we offer the following financing options.

  • Short-term financing - a short-term loan will allow you to optimize your cash flow and buy the best furnace for your home (even if you don’t have the cash upfront).

  • Long-term financing - making small monthly payments over an extended period will allow you to keep more money in your pocket!

Both of these financing options are fast, easy, flexible and low-cost. Better yet, these financing plans are available for all home improvement projects, including new furnace installation, maintenance and repairs, and more.

Don’t wait until it’s too late - get the perfect furnace for your home and pay later. Apply for furnace installation and repair financing today!

Furnace Buying Guide Tips for Installation

As we’ve previously mentioned, finding the best furnace installer is essential, as furnace installation plays a significant role in how effectively and efficiently your new system works. Location, experience, and reputation are some of the most important aspects of choosing the best furnace installer.

If you live in the Edmonton area, you’ll want to work with a local Edmonton company like ProSolutions Heating. The professional and experienced technicians at ProSolutions Inc. have the local experience needed to properly install and calibrate your new furnace for maximum home comfort!

You’ll also want to determine a company’s experience level and reputation in your community. To help with this, check out online reviews and feedback.

Winter is Coming - Make Sure You're Ready!

Man dives into snow during Edmonton winter

Whether you’ll be buying a new furnace this year or not, the end of summer is the perfect time to start preparing for winter! 

Schedule your furnace maintenance now to avoid the fall furnace tune-up rush. And, if you need a new furnace, it’s never too early to contact a local contractor. In fact, the sooner the better! Edmonton plumbing, heating and AC companies like ProSolutions will help you determine whether you should replace or repair your HVAC system. They can also help you choose the best unit for your home.

Ready to get started? Maximize your home comfort this winter with the perfect furnace for your Edmonton home. 

Contact us today for a free quote!
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