Is It Safe To Buy A Used Furnace To Save Money?

Oct 26, 2022

One of our favourite types of articles is what we think of as “the long and short”. This is one of those articles. 

The short answer to the question posed in the title is this: Never buy a used furnace. They may be:

  • Unsafe
  • Unusable
  • More costly
  • Less efficient
  • An insurance hazard

For those of you who were looking for the short answer, you can consider yourselves satisfied! Buy a furnace from us instead—it’ll be safer, last longer, heat your home more efficiently, and probably cost about the same amount as the used unit that you were thinking about picking up.

Then there are those of you who want a more detailed answer. Skepticism and curiosity are great traits, after all—of course, the company trying to sell furnaces is going to tell you not to pick up a used furnace, right? Trust us—there are very good reasons to buy new.

What’s the warranty like on a used furnace?

To those of you who answered, “there is no warranty on a used furnace”—we’ve got a winner. One of the best things about buying directly from a reputable supplier like us is that you’ll get a great warranty on your furnace. Our gas furnaces, for example, typically come with a 10-year parts warranty. Most used furnaces don’t have anywhere near a 10-year lifespan—after all, they’ve already been used.

How are you going to move that thing?

Furnaces are big and heavy and need to be uninstalled before they can be moved around. You might be able to shove it in the back of your pickup, but you’ll need to be very careful not to damage it. Those of you who don’t have a pickup might need to rent a moving van—another expense to add on. And you won’t be able to lift that thing on your own—you’ll need help.

All in all, it’s going to cost time, money, or both—all this for what’s almost definitely an inferior piece of equipment.

How will you install the furnace?

Furnaces need to be installed by professionals—and most professionals will refuse to install a used furnace. There’s a good reason for this; HVAC professionals don’t want to be held liable for faults in a product that they don’t know the origins of. You should never install a furnace yourself—it’s dangerous. The only exception is if you’re an HVAC professional, and if you are, you probably don’t need to be reading this article.

Questions you should ask when buying a used furnace

You might still be intent on buying a used furnace. We don’t advocate doing this in any way, but we still want you to stay as safe as possible. When buying a used furnace, ask the following questions:

  • Why is the furnace being sold?
  • How old is the furnace?
  • Was the furnace having any problems before you decided to replace it?
  • Does it have a transferable warranty?
  • How frequently has the furnace been maintained?
  • What’s the make and model of the furnace?
  • What kind of building did it heat, and how did it perform?

There are a couple of key things to know about these questions. Most “transferable warranties” transfer from one homeowner to another and do not apply if you uninstall and move the furnace. In fact, such changes will generally void your warranty. 

Optimally, you should ask an HVAC technician to check the quality of the furnace before you purchase it. They’ll perform routine maintenance and a check-up, examining:

  • The heat exchanger
  • The blower fan and motor
  • The pilot light/ignition
  • Other mechanical components
  • And more

Don’t buy used—it may cost more than you know

We’ve already covered a lot of reasons you shouldn’t buy used. One that you may not have considered is that a used furnace is almost always less efficient than a new furnace. Fuel-efficient furnaces can save you money—both in the long term, and the short term. You might be able to get a rebate for a new, energy-efficient furnace from the Government of Canada’s Greener Homes Initiative

Looking for a new furnace? Give us a call. We offer furnace replacements in Winnipeg. We can replace your old furnace with a new, efficient model, help you with financing, and keep your home warm—all without the risks of a used furnace.


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