The Internet has transformed consumer shopping habits, enabling people to buy everything from jewelry to vacation property online. But the next time you’re able, try checking the internet for a shopping category that doesn’t exist: that of a certified HVAC expert.
While it’s true that you can purchase a furnace online, it’s hardly practical to do so when you consider how much a new furnace costs. Yes, you may read erstwhile promises about how much money you will save by “eliminating the middleman” from this purchase. But when it comes to HVAC equipment, the “middleman” is a vital and skilled part of the equation, and a person who should also be your best advocate.
Consider the most obvious point first: Most homeowners are not HVAC experts. So how would they know:
- The best brand or model furnace to buy?
- What size furnace to buy?
- How to negotiate a viable warranty?
But let’s say you take the plunge anyway. Who will install your new furnace? Many HVAC companies refuse to install and guarantee a furnace that did not come from their inventory, because they cannot vouch for its condition and expected performance. A furnace warranty can be your best protection if something goes wrong, but it can be rendered null and void if:
- Your ductwork is not properly sized
- The correct permits are not obtained
- Local and state codes are not followed
- The furnace is not inspected and installed by a certified HVAC expert
You may encounter other problems as well, if you choose to upgrade your HVAC equipment via the Internet:
- The furnace could arrive at your home damaged, or it could be missing vital parts.
- The furnace may not properly fit your ductwork.
- A high-efficiency furnace that would otherwise be eligible for federal tax credits may not arrive with the necessary documentation.
Online dealers are good at making promises. At Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, we make only those promises that we can keep, beginning with teaming you with a certified HVAC expert who will help you choose the best furnace for your home, install it expertly and then guarantee the work — not to mention your investment.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Solutions Guide.
Technician image via Shutterstock