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Calgary's #1 Furnace Repair & Service

What’s an In-Home Heating Consultation?

Your family’s comfort is important and your heating is a big part of it. You want a furnace that keeps you warm and toasty without breaking the bank. Your family’s comfort is important and your heating is a big part of it. You want a furnace that keeps you warm and toasty without breaking the bank.

Getting the right furnace is not a cookie-cutter, one size fits all process. Every furnace and installation is customized to each individual household’s needs. It’s customized to the layout of your home, the furnace’s location, and your comfort needs. What works for your neighbor in their house probably won’t work for you in your house.

Heating, HVAC, furnace replacement, furnace repair in Calgary, Edmonton, and Red Deer Alberta
In Home Calgary Heating Consultation
What Happens During a Furnace Sales Call?

This is where a home visit from a comfort advisor comes in. This is an important part of the furnace buying process and can’t be skipped.

When you request a quote, the contractor will send a comfort advisor to your home.

They will:

    • Gather and analyze information
    • Recommend a furnace size, efficiency level (AFUE rating), features, and add-ons
    • Explain the options and process

Prepare a quote

To get the best system for you and your family, the comfort advisor needs to collect a lot of information. A home visit will take 60 to 90 minutes. We understand a 60 to 90-minute visit from each quoting contractor is a big time commitment. But it’s time well spent.

Think of it this way. When you’re buying a new car, how much time do you put into researching different vehicles, going to different dealerships, and test driving different cars?

Buying a furnace is similar, but instead of having to go to different dealerships, the dealerships come to you. And you don’t need to research the multitude of options available. The comfort advisor gathers and analyzes the information regarding your heating system and comfort. And then makes recommendations based on their assessment, narrowing the number of options you need to research.

What Happens During a Home Visit?

The comfort advisor inspects your current system and asks you a lot of questions. Their job is to collect complete and thorough information about your heating system and requirements. And then use that information to recommend the best solutions for your heating needs.

1. Current Heating System Inspection

The comfort advisor will examine your entire heating system to: 

Find out:

  • The age of the furnace, components, and add-ons
  • The size of your current furnace
    The fuel your current furnace uses
  • Identify any potential issues the furnace’s location might have on the new furnace and installation:
    What configuration will work best in the location?
  • Is the current space big enough for a new furnace?
  • Is there a nearby drain that can be used as a condensate drain?
  • Will anything impede getting the new equipment to the install site? I.e., stairs, tight corners, narrow doorways, etc.
  • Look for possible issues with the ductwork
  • Find the thermostat(s) location(s)
  • Identify any retrofitting or upgrading needs
  • Uncover possible hazards or safety issues

They look at more than just your current furnace because a furnace works with the other components in your heating system to deliver your warm air. And you don’t want to install a furnace and then find out there is a problem or it doesn’t work with another part in your heating system. For example, you don’t want to install a new furnace and find out it isn’t compatible with your existing thermostat.

2. Heat Load Analysis

One of the most important recommendations a comfort advisor will make is the size of your furnace. You don’t want to end up with an oversized or undersized furnace. It is critical to get a correctly sized furnace.

Most jurisdictions in North America require a variation of the heat load calculation to be done to determine the correct sized furnace for a home.

A properly done heat load calculation has a number of variables and most companies will use an HVAC design software program to do the calculation.

The variables include:

  • Heat gain from the sun, occupants, and household electronics
  • Insulation levels
  • Types and number of windows and doors
  • House’s characteristics, e.g., square footage, number of rooms
  • Planned renovations e.g., new windows, new insulation
3. Homeowner Interview

The comfort advisor will also ask you a number of questions or have a questionnaire for you to complete. This is sometimes called a comfort survey and it is important that you answer all the questions honestly and thoroughly.

The questions will include:

  • What are your expectations, concerns, and needs?
  • What are your issues with the current system?
  • Do you have any hot and cold spots?
  • Is it noisy?
  • Do you have any comfort or health problems?
  • Does anyone in the home have respiratory problems?
  • Does your home have a lot of static electricity in the winter?
    How is the space used?
  • Is it unoccupied during the day?
  • How old is your home?
  • How much are your heating bills?
  • How long do you plan to live in the home?

The comfort advisor will use this information, along with the other information gathered, to get to know you and your wants and concerns. They will then recommend a furnace and add-ons for you along with any upgrades and retrofitting your current system needs.

4. Educate

The comfort advisor will advise you of the pros and cons of the different furnace features and add-ons and how they will impact your family’s comfort level and budget. They will provide and explain their recommendations, including how the heat load analysis results were used in their assessment.

They will also help you with anything unexpected that pops up. For example, they will explain the options available if a new venting system needs to be installed to accommodate a new high-efficiency furnace.

They should also tell you about the benefits of using their company, go over financing options, explain the warranties, and tell you what will happen on installation day.

Most importantly, they should answer all your questions knowledgeably and respectfully.

How Can I Make a Home Visit Go Smoothly?

Not only should the comfort advisor be prepared, but so should you. You are an active participant in the home visit. You don’t just open the door and leave the comfort advisor alone to gather what they need.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure you get the most out of the home visit:

  • Make sure all the decision-makers are present
  • Before the home visit, discuss your budget, wants, and concerns
  • Prepare a list of questions for the comfort advisor
  • Gather your current system’s information
  • System age (furnace, add-ons, etc.)
  • House square footage
  • Add-ons you have
  • Heating bills for the past year
  • Make sure all the registers are clear
  • Clear a path to and around the current furnace and electrical panel and make sure the areas are well lit
  • After the meeting, review the information and send any follow-up questions to the comfort advisor

You can now see why a typical home visit takes 60 to 90 minutes. There is a great deal of information to examine to make sure you get the perfect furnace.

Before leaving, the comfort advisor should give you information on your options and a clear timeline for when you will receive a quote and when installation can happen once the contract is signed. Some will give you a quote before they leave.

Getting the wrong furnace and having a poor installation can cause a lot of stress and have long-term repercussions. An in-home heating consultation is an important step in making sure this doesn’t happen. Spending a few hours to make sure you get it right is a small price to pay.

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