As I mentioned in an earlier article, I am shopping for a new furnace for the first time ever. And, as a result, have been forced to learn things as I go. And, as part of that, one of the things I had to learn was which questions to ask when talking to salespeople.
This actually wasn’t as easy as it might sound. Shopping for a furnace proved to be much more intimidating than I originally expected and, as a result, I was surprisingly hesitant at first. However, I did eventually start asking and, as a result, discovered four main questions that have made the shopping process much easier.
First, how does this furnace compare to my old one? I have actually already done quite a bit of research and, because of that, am able to figure it out on my own. However, customer service is very important to me and a salesperson’s willingness to attempt to answer such a vague question (even if they have to look it up first) does influence my decision. In fact, I’ve already eliminated one potential candidate as a result of this question.
Second, what kind of thermostat are they installing with the furnace? So far, every company I’ve spoken to has wanted to install a new thermostat at the same time they install the furnace. Even though I just installed our thermostat not that long ago, I’m actually fine with this. However, because of our hectic schedules, we need a thermostat with a programmable timer. And, so far, only a couple of the proposals have included that without an additional charge.
Third, who provides the repair service? Wisconsin winters can get very cold and, if our furnace stops working, I want to make sure it gets repaired as soon as possible. This is much easier with a company that has local repair technicians. Several of the companies I talked to did not and, if I had decided to go with them, it would have meant allowing up to four extra hours for travel time. And, that was only if the roads were clear (which isn’t guaranteed to be the case).
Last, do they dispose of my old furnace for me? When I first started shopping for a new furnace, I actually assumed the answer to this question would automatically be yes. As it turns out, that wasn’t always the case. A couple of the companies that gave me a quote required me to dispose of my old furnace and one other one would only do it for an additional fee. While not a huge deal (I could have easily driven it to our local recycling company), it is an added inconvenience and, all other things being equal, I would much rather deal with a company that is willing to do that for me at no additional charge.
I haven’t officially made my decision just yet but should be picking a proposal very soon. And, thanks to asking these questions, I can make my choice with a lot more confidence.