Thinking about replacing your home heating and cooling system?

Next to your home, a heating system is one of your most significant investments both financially and in terms of family comfort. We want to help you make the most intelligent buying decision, so here are some questions to ask when contractors visit during your in-home consultation. Please set aside at least one hour.


Q. What equipment do I have now, how old and efficient is it?

Many homeowners have not purchased heating and cooling systems, and your contractor can help confirm what is installed in terms of heating and cooling, ducting, air filtration, cooling, etc. or how old it is.

Q. What are the advantages of converting from electric or oil to natural gas heating?

Talk with your contractor about how many people live in the home, including any special concerns, like family sensitivity to dust or allergens, infants, elderly, a home office or pets. If you’re interested in gas cooking, a gas fireplace, or gas dryer later, a connector pipe can be installed that can reduce the cost to hook up additional gas appliances later.

Q. How does a natural gas furnace compare with a heat pump for comfort, maintenance and lifespan?

Ask about the quality (degrees) of heat at the register, typical maintenance required for each type of system, and typical life of a gas furnace heat exchanger compared to a heat pump compressor.

Q. How much can I save on my monthly utility bill with new equipment?

Be sure to have your monthly electric or oil fuel bills ready for the last 12 months so your contractor can make accurate and informed comparisons.

Q. What kind of thermostat should I select?

It depends on how you want to use it for energy management. Choices range from simple touchscreen to networked, self-learning thermostats. Some set up 7 day programming to meet an energy savings schedule. There are Wi-Fi thermostats accessed from a free iPhone or Android smartphone app or computer and continually learn when to pre-heat/cool your home so you are comfortable at your programmed times. Talk with your contractor about your needs.

Q. What is the typical payback period for my investment?

You can obtain bids on good/better/best equipment, all with different paybacks.

Q. What rebates and incentives are available?

With a NW Natural Preferred Contractor, you will have access to enhanced incentives only offered through a NW Natural Preferred Contractor.

Q. Are there financing options available?

NW Natural Preferred Contractors in Oregon offer a program called Savings Within Reach that includes on-bill repayment on your natural gas bill. In Washington, Preferred Contractors offer on-bill repayment as well. Other financing options from contractors are available too.

Q. How long before I can expect a written bid or proposal?

It is customary for the bid process to take no more than 3 working days. Be sure to confirm it will include all costs, including permitting, electrical, dismantling and/or removal.

Q. If I switch from electric or oil to gas, what are the steps and how long does it take?

The duration depends on several factors including gas availability, permitting, construction schedules, etc. Your contractor can detail this for you.

Q. Will my home be without heat during the conversion process?

Talk with your contractor about setting up temporary heaters in your home to keep your family comfortable during the conversion process.

Q. What are the manufacturer and contractor warranties?

NW Natural Preferred Contractors provide a minimum one-year parts and labor warranty following installation of new gas equipment.

Q. Is your contractor insured and bonded?

NW Natural Preferred Contractors maintain high levels of liability insurance and surety bond, and good ratings with the state licensing board. 

Ready to begin? Call NW Natural at 877-464-7203 to set up a free in-home consultation with a
NW Natural Preferred Contractor or click Find A Contractor »