Buying a furnace online may seem like a great way to save money. However, there are several factors about buying online that may cause your “bargain” to end up costing you a lot more:
- Unless you have experience with buying a furnace, it is easy to select the wrong equipment. A furnace that’s too small will not be able to properly heat your home, while a furnace that’s too large will “short cycle” (turn off and on too often), which is inefficient and will drive up your monthly energy bill. The only way to determine the proper size furnace for your needs is to perform a load calculation, which takes into effect the cubic area and insulation properties of your home. Because an incorrect load calculation can cost you money and even endanger your health, it is essential to have this performed by a professional.
- The equipment could be damaged or missing parts. When buying a furnace online, there is no way for you to know exactly what condition it is in — usually all you have to go on is a little stock picture and the word of the seller. HVAC equipment sold online usually is not covered by any warranty, and you may not be able to return or replace it if broken.
- If the price seems extremely low, the equipment could be stolen. Criminals will steal credit card numbers, buy expensive equipment with it, then sell it online for a fraction of the price. No matter what you buy online, if it seems too cheap to be legitimate, it probably is.
- The biggest disadvantage to buying a furnace online is that you will have to install it yourself. Many contractors will not install equipment purchased online because they cannot warranty it. Some contractors will install the equipment, but will inflate their rates to cover the lost profit from an equipment sale. The result is that you could end up paying more for installation than what you saved from buying online.
To discuss your furnace options with experienced professionals, please contact us at Paschal Heating, Air & Geothermal.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.