Living in Canada means your home will endure a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions during the winter. This is why it is so important to pick the right heating option. Shopping for a new furnace can feel overwhelming with all the options out there. Here are a few factors to consider and help you narrow down your choice:

Fuel Type

Gas furnaces usually cost more than oil furnaces, but they are also more efficient. They will require more money up front to purchase and install, but save you money over time on utility costs. Oil furnaces are more budget-friendly from the start, and some models can still be equally energy efficient. An electric furnace or heat pump is better suited to areas with mild winters as they are not as energy efficient when the temperatures drop outside.

Fuel Prices

It is important to note that oil prices fluctuate more often than gas prices. Oil could be cheaper than gas one month and then more expensive the next without warning. If you prefer consistent pricing, it is better to opt for a gas furnace as this will offer predictable monthly expenses.

AFUE Ratings

The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency describes the overall energy efficiency of a furnace. It is expressed as a percentage – the higher the number the more efficient it is. Oil furnaces have AFUE ratings between 60-80 percent while gas furnaces can go up to 98 percent. Fuel type is not the only factor to consider, though. Other ratings, such as EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) can also help you determine the most cost-effective furnace for your budget. The more data you look at, the more informed your decision will be.

Total Cost

Consider the cost of installation, maintenance, and repairs for your furnace over its lifetime before you commit to one. Higher quality furnaces will hold up better over time, so you will not have to spend as much money to keep it running. You can keep up front costs low by choosing a furnace that takes less time and effort to install. With so many factors to consider, it can be difficult to accurately calculate the total cost of a furnace over its lifetime; a professional can help you make an informed decision.

Consult a professional

An HVAC technician has installed several units throughout their career in houses just like yours, making them your best resource on the matter. They will also have insider knowledge about different brands or models and its reputation in the industry. If you prefer, you could even do your own research, narrow down the options to two or three, then ask your technician which they would recommend.


Buying a new furnace is an investment you want to put a lot of thought into. Do not get caught in the height of the winter season with no heating. Newer models can save you money and provide reliable service for years to come. Contact an Arctic Breeze technician to discuss your HVAC need or request a consultation.

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