Is It Time to Replace Your Furnace? Things to Consider
A lot of people wait till their furnace goes out completely before they start shopping for a new one. And since it's usually in the middle of the winter, those same people can feel like they had to rush the decision.
If you think of your furnace like a car or any other large purchase, it makes sense to start looking when you see signs your furnace is struggling or nearing the end of its lifespan. Sometimes a little proactive planning and saving can take the sting out of a purchase like a new furnace and/or air conditioner.
Most people become aware of the age and condition of their system when it starts breaking down. When deciding whether to repair or replace your furnace, several factors should be looked at. These include the age of the unit, the frequency of repairs, cost of repairs, heating needs, utility costs, and how in control you’d like to have over when the replacement happens. It shouldn't be a matter of how much pressure the technician is putting on your or how they try and make you feel like it is your only option. Always look for a trusted HVAC company who you feel has your best interest in mind and will help you get all of the facts so you can make an educated decision.
Here are some things to consider when looking at whether you should replace your furnace:
1. AGE OF FURNACE
One of the most significant factors is the lifespan of your HVAC unit, how many more years will it keep working. If it was properly installed and maintained, on average, a furnace can last 15-20 years. Age isn’t everything, though. Most people will take into account the cost to keep the furnace running when deciding to repair or replace.
2. FREQUENCY & COST OF REPAIRS
The older your furnace gets, the higher the likelihood of breakdowns. Just like the more miles you put on your car, the more wear and tear is put on the parts. Your furnace is the same, the more hours it runs, the more wear and tear it puts on the internal components. The older something gets the more frequent breakdowns will occur. It’s difficult to determine when you'd be money ahead by just replacing it. The goal is to get through as many winters as possible and replace it before you're left without heat on a cold winter night.
The question then becomes, “How expensive does a furnace repair need to be before it’s not worth it to repair it?” It depends on how old your furnace is and what the cost is to get a new furnace.
A good rule of thumb is, if the cost to repair the unit is 50% or more of the cost of a new furnace, you may want to consider replacing it. For less expensive repairs, you want to take into account the frequency at which you are having to make repairs. At the end of the day, it’s your choice whether you want to keep spending money to repair your furnace or put the money towards replacing it with a system that will last 15-20 years. By being proactive and doing your research before your furnace goes out, you aren’t having to make a rushed decision about what system you want.
3. NOT KEEPING YOUR HOME COMFORTABLE
It can be frustrating when your furnace and air conditioner aren’t able to keep you as comfortable as you want. This could be due to the system not being properly configured for the space/square footage involved. Therefore, it’s a good idea to do a home comfort needs analysis to make sure the system you install can perform the way it is designed to. A certified HVAC technician should be able to calculate and measure your home to help determine what equipment will perform the way you expect it to.
When you meet with an HVAC company, be ready and able to articulate your answer to the following questions:
- What temperature do you like your home to be at during the day/night, summer/winter?
- Are there areas in your home that don’t heat/cool evenly?
- Does anyone in your home suffer from allergies or asthma?
- Does your home ever feel too damp or too dry?
- Have you done any recent remodeling or home improvements?
4. HIGH UTILITY BILLS
Just like most industries, the HVAC industry has benefited from advancements in technology. Things like more energy-efficient equipment and smarter thermostats help you save as much money as possible. Even a furnace that is 12 years old, it may be costing you more than it needs to heat and cool your home. With that in mind, how much could you save each month? And is that enough of a reason to upgrade?
Other helpful articles:
- How A Furnace Works
- 7 Steps to Get Your Furnace Ready for Winter
- Common Furnace Failures - Podcast #043
- Reasons to Replace Your Furnace & AC at the Same Time
- Cleaning Your Furnace
Author: Tammy Nelson
Copyright © 2021 by Any Hour Services
Jan 28th 2021