Low Gas Prices Curb Furnace ROIs

Many contractors focus on the benefits of improved comfort rather than energy savings

DECISIONS, DECISIONS: Comfort, not natural gas prices, usually lead homeowners to purchase a condensing furnace, said Kevin Fitzgerald, sales manager, Allied Air Conditioning and Heating Corp., Palatine, Illinois.
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Not that long ago, when gas prices were sky high, many customers chose to purchase condensing furnaces because they saved a lot of energy. Contractors often highlighted that fact during sales presentations, noting that high-efficiency furnaces could reduce utility bills by a substantial amount.

With gas prices falling significantly over the last few years, the return on investment (ROI) of a condensing furnace is longer than it used to be. While customers are still interested in these high-end furnaces, contractors are often selling them on the basis of improved comfort and air quality rather than focusing on energy savings.

Natural gas prices are not always the driving factor when it comes to buying a condensing furnace, said Kevin Fitzgerald, sales manager, Allied Air Conditioning and Heating Corp., Palatine, Illinois.

“We educate our clients on the system as a whole, focusing on the enhanced comfort benefits of modulating heat combined with a variable-speed fan running 24/7,” he said. “The combination of these features helps eliminate hot and cold spots in their homes, along with constantly filtering the indoor air. Customers also appreciate the ultra-quiet sound level of the Carrier Infinity furnace, especially when compared to their existing furnace.”

Approximately 60 percent of Allied’s retrofit furnace sales are high-efficiency models, and in new construction, it’s 100 percent.

“When a client is purchasing a new furnace, they are not only looking out for their best interest today, they are investing in their future,” said Fitzgerald. “If the cost of natural gas and electricity rises in the future, they will already have a system that will combat the higher pricing and keep their utility bills in line.”

Whether it’s maximum energy efficiency, maximum comfort, minimal sound, or all of the above, Fitzgerald said when it comes to installing a new furnace in a client’s home, the goal is 100 percent customer satisfaction.

“If we accomplish that, we have satisfied our clients, and they will refer us to new clients,” he said. “Word-of-mouth is one of the ways Allied continues to grow.”

news November 27, 2017
Joanna R. Turpin

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