LESLIE: We’re going to take a call now from Millie in New Jersey who’s got a heating question. What’s going on at your house?
MILLIE: Oh, I have a Carrier outside. It’s a heater and air conditioner package.
MILLIE: (INAUDIBLE) And every year it leaks Freon, so our electric bills are outrageous. So we want to buy a new unit; something that would be economical for the air and the heat. We’ve been looking at a York and then there is a Trane they advertise and there’s an Amana and I didn’t know which one would be the better one to save us on gas and electric.
TOM: Now, this is a centrally installed, gas-fired furnace? Is that correct?
TOM: Alright. Well, I would do this. To compare apples to apples, I would only work with models that have an Energy Star rating and then I would compare the Energy Star ratings. That’s going to give you all the information that you need. Those are all good brands and one does not significantly distinguish itself from another, in my opinion. But the Energy Star program is very effective at helping sort out the differences between units because if – you know, if one is Energy Star and one is not I would always lean towards the Energy Star rating. That’s the baseline and the best way to tell. Beyond that, then you can start looking at price and terms and features and benefits. But start with the Energy Star rating and take it from there.
MILLIE: What does that mean, exactly?
TOM: Well, the Energy Star rating is a program that’s run by the EPA and if you go to EnergyStar.gov you can read all about it. And essentially it’s a program whereby manufacturers compete to make products of a certain standard efficiency and the standards are going to change by year. And so you may have one furnace that’s built to the 2008 standard and another one that’s built to the 2010 standard, which could be a better standard and so on. And another reason to buy an Energy Star-rated furnace right now is because if you purchase it before the end of the year you may qualify for a tax credit. There’s a program. The Energy Tax Incentive Program is still active til the end of this year and you may qualify for a tax credit.
So, go to EnergyStar.gov and read about it right there and use that to try to decide which furnace is best for your needs.
Millie, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
MILLIE: Thank you.