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How to pick the right furnace for your home

Grill contractors on preferences, warranty, then ask for references

Q: How do you make a good choice on the type and brand of new furnace with so many options available today? --Michael W. A: It's similar in many ways to evaluating and deciding on any major purchase, which is a combination of a reputable manufacturer and reputable dealer. I would begin by asking around among friends, coworkers and even your utility company, and get a list of two (or three if desired, but no more than that) reputable heating contractors in your area. Ideally, these contractors will represent at least two different lines of furnaces. Have each contractor make a site visit to your home. It's important that the contractor see the home, see the existing furnace and duct system, and evaluate the overall energy efficiency of your home. After that, each contractor should provide you with a detailed written estimate, including the model(s) of the furnace(s) they are recommending, plus all labor, materials and permits. If additional electrical wiring or gas piping ...

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