Columbus HVAC expert discusses furnaces
Who we talked to
Columbus/Worthington Air has been around for a while - the company's been in business since 1936. And Jeffrey Ford, the president, has been with the company for 11 years and working in the industry for 21.
"The original owner of Columbus/Worthington Air was my mentor, and he actually got me into this industry," Ford says. "I love it. I love my staff. I love everything about it."
What are some signs a furnace may need to be replaced?
"High utility bills are the first and foremost sign. Age, noises - it'll get louder as time goes on - and inadequate heating in certain areas of your home are other signs. If the noise is from a blower or gas valve, we can replace those parts. The consumer would decide if they want to spend money on a 20-year-old product or if they'd rather replace it. At that point, replacement might be more cost-effective. The lifespan of a furnace is between 15 and 20 years."
What are some factors to consider when purchasing a new furnace?
"Your HVAC contractor should perform manual J heat-loss and heat-gain calculations to determine the number of BTUs required for your home. If the house is 20 years old, the owners may have changed the windows or added insulation or a room addition - all of that changes the load of the house. If you have to replace the outside air conditioner, it's better to use a heat pump rather than a high-efficiency gas furnace - you'll save big on your utility bills."
What's the most common type of furnace you install?
"A variable-speed furnace with a two-stage or modulating gas valve. They have 10-year parts and labor warranties. We have a rebate program of $250 per furnace as well as a manufacturer's rebate program of up to $1,100 on a system.
"The cost depends on what size and type of furnace you're looking for - they can range from $2,000 to $5,000. Our most common furnaces are in the $4,000 range."
What can a homeowner do to help ensure a new furnace runs properly throughout its expected lifespan?
"Preventative maintenance is key. It keeps the warranty intact. A furnace needs to be cleaned and checked to make sure all safety devices are running properly. It's a fuel-burning appliance, and you don't want carbon monoxide in your house.
"The biggest thing homeowners can do is change their filter. A 1-inch filter should be changed monthly; a 2-inch filter, bimonthly; and a 4- or 5-inch filter, every five or six months. Electronic air cleaners should be cleaned every month."