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How to Tell If You Should Repair or Replace Your Furnace

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When you’re experiencing furnace problems, evaluating whether it should be repaired or replaced can be a challenge. Is it worth the cost of repairs, or would it be better to buy a new furnace? Considering each of these factors can make the decision easier.

Age of the Furnace

Determining a Furnace’s Age

Look for a sticker on your furnace where the installation or manufacture date is noted. If there’s no evidence on the unit, locate the model and serial numbers. Check the paperwork or the sticker inside the furnace’s door. Turn off the furnace and wait for it to cool before opening. If you’ve called a technician, ask him or her to record the numbers for you.

Next, contact the furnace manufacturer. They can tell you the date of manufacture based on the model and serial numbers. Give us a call if you need help with any part of this process.

How Old is Too Old?

The average furnace lives 15 to 20 years. If your furnace is older than 20 years old and the repairs will be very minor, you may not have to replace it. But in most cases, a furnace that is older than 10 years old is a candidate for replacement. Furnaces tend to develop more frequent problems as they age.

Cost of Repairs vs. Replacement 

Compare the costs of both furnace repairs and furnace replacements. Get more than one repair estimate and factor in any warranty coverage. Furnace replacement cost varies widely depending on the size, make, model, and efficiency level that you choose. We can provide quotes on a variety of models that are sized properly for your home.

There are a couple of general guidelines. If your furnace has reached at least two-thirds of its anticipated life and the furnace repair cost is at least one-third of replacement cost, consider a new furnace. If the repair estimate is $1,000 or more, compare that to the price of a new furnace.

If your budget is under pressure and you need to replace the furnace, consider financing options. There may also be rebates available.

Decreasing Energy Efficiency

An inefficient furnace affects your monthly heating bills. Furnaces are far more efficient today than they were even 10 years ago. With a new furnace, it costs less to generate more heat. Furnaces lose efficiency as they age, so yours may not be performing as well as its rating indicates.

Look at your furnace’s efficiency rating and compare it to the replacement model you’re considering. Calculate the difference between the two ratings, then examine your heating bills to determine your potential savings.

Performance, Comfort, and Safety

Over time, your furnace’s performance declines. It may not provide enough heat, filtration, or humidity control. If you’re experiencing cold rooms, allergies, or dry air, a new furnace is likely to serve you better.

A cracked heat exchanger is an expensive repair, and you cannot risk having dangerous gases being emitted inside your home. If this is your case, you should replace the furnace.

Expert Opinions and Expert Service

Considering these factors will help you decide whether furnace replacement or furnace repair is the right choice. If you need furnace repairs or are ready to replace, or if you need help deciding, please give us a call. We’d love to discuss our furnace repair and replacement services. Contact us for more information and a free estimate today!

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