Furnaces do not last forever, but how can you tell if you should repair or replace your furnace? If your existing furnace has been suffering from frequent breakdowns or costly repairs, it might be time to replace. A new furnace will be a lot more efficient and therefore reduce your heating bills. Take into consideration the age of the furnace and the cost of repairs when deciding if to repair or replace. Ultimately, each situation is different, but the following can help you decide.
A Furnace Older Than 15 years
If your furnace is beyond three-quarters of its life expectancy or if the repairs would cost more than a third of the replacement cost, then it’s a good idea to replace your furnace. On average furnaces last about 15 to 20 years but could last more if regularly maintained. Instead of repairing an older system with costly repairs, it might be more economical to replace it with a new more efficient furnace. The best option is to have a qualified technician give you an honest assessment of your equipment. It may be that even though you have a furnace that is only 10 years old, it may need to be replaced due to lack of adequate maintenance or poor quality installation. On the other hand, you might have a furnace closer to 20 years old that works like new because it has been well maintained.
High Utility Bills
Take a look at your utility bills, are they getting higher every year? If there is a significant increase in your bills, your furnace is likely using too much energy. As your system gets older it also becomes less efficient wasting energy and can cause an increase in your bills. Even though a new furnace may be costly upfront, in the long run it will pay for itself with lower bills. Another option is to choose a furnace with technology that saves energy, such as a gas furnace with a fully modulating valve. Be sure to check with your local utility company if they offer any incentives or rebates with the purchase of high efficiency furnace.
High Cost Repairs
You should highly consider replacing your furnace after a major breakdown or several minor problems. Furthermore, once your furnace warranty expires, the repairs could become extremely expensive. In that case, installing a new high efficiency furnace would make more sense to save you money on repairs and bills. Although an older furnace may run okay it is not running as efficiently as a new replacement would. As the furnace gets older the parts begin to suffer from wear and tear and therefore run inefficiently. Also, older furnaces often make weird sounds such as popping, rattling or nagging especially if they need to be replaced soon. If the issue can be repaired it is important to do a cost benefit analysis.
If your furnace is not running properly, it could run without ever making your home comfortable. Signs that your furnace is running inefficiently are cold and warm spots in the home, constantly having to adjust the temperature, or muggy air. If your furnace is not keeping up and feels less powerful than in the past despite similar temperatures, you may have a system that is struggling. It is a good idea to schedule a maintenance visit in the fall to make sure you will not need to replace your furnace in the middle of winter when you need it the most. Check your filter every month and change it if its dirty to protect your system and high indoor air quality.
If the issue is a safety hazard, such as a cracked heat exchanger, which could potentially expose your home to carbon dioxide it needs to be replaced as soon as possible. A few signs that your furnace could be emitting carbon dioxide are: yellow flame instead of blue, excess moisture on windows or walls, soot around furnace, and feelings of nausea or headaches. If you see any of these signs call your utility and have a professional replace your furnace.
Let us help you determine what is best for your situation. We can help you decide if you should repair or replace your furnace. We can also repair or maintain your HVAC system. Please call us today at (818) 341-3406 or contact us online with questions you may have.
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