Should You Replace or Repair Your Furnace?
Has your furnace been acting up? When things start to go wrong with your furnace, you might be questioning whether you should keep pouring money into your existing unit or throw in the towel and get a new one. Since Cates Heating and Cooling knows that this can be a difficult decision, we have some advice for deciding between repairs and a full replacement.
When Should You Repair Your Furnace?
Most furnace problems can be fixed without too much fuss. The issue isn’t usually whether or not something can be repaired but whether it should be repaired. You need to consider a few different criteria during your decision-making process.
- Age: The first thing you should consider is the age of the unit. If your furnace is less than ten years old, then you will probably want to stick to repairing the unit rather than replacing it, especially if it is still heating your home efficiently. If you aren’t seeing an increase in your heating bills and experiencing uneven heating, your furnace is efficient enough to warrant repairs.
- Cost: The general rule of thumb for whether you should repair your furnace or not is that as long as the needed repairs are less than a third of the cost of a new heating system and the furnace is expected to go on for at least the same amount of time as you have already had it, then you should get repairs done instead of replacing the system.
- Repair/Upgrade Opportunities: It is also important to remember not to base your decision solely on decreased heat efficiency. Decreased heat efficiency can often be resolved with a repair, which is more beneficial for you as the homeowner. For example, you may be able to upgrade your thermostat or clean out your ductwork to solve the problem.
To prevent future problems with your furnace, you should sign up for preventative maintenance. At Cates Heating and Cooling, preventative maintenance takes places once or twice a year to ensure that your system is running the way it should it.
When Should You Replace Your Furnace?
When weighing your option to repair or replace your furnace, it is important to understand that furnaces are only expected to work properly for 15 to 20 years. After this point, it is likely that your unit is going to experience more frequent problems than before.
- Age: Going back to the previously mentioned rule of thumb, if your furnace has already experienced more than half of its life and repairs are going to cost more than a third of the price of the system, then you should consider replacing your furnace.
- Cost: Repairs sometimes seem like the easier option, but when you are constantly dumping a bunch of money into your furnace, it may be time to consider replacing it.
- Energy Efficiency: If you have an old unit that isn’t energy efficient, you can actually save money by replacing your model with a newer, more efficient one. Some newer units can be up to 95 percent efficient, which will quickly save you enough money on your heating bill to make it a worthwhile purchase.
- Warranties: One final factor in your decision should be any warranties that you have on your furnace or its parts. If something is under warranty, you should get just that part replaced before you decide to replace the entire furnace, as it won’t cost you anything.
Benefits of Replacing Your Furnace
Even though there are numerous instances when it would make more sense to get your furnace repaired instead of replaced, we want to make sure that you know the benefits of replacing your furnace.
The main benefit of getting a brand-new furnace is that you have a lot of options. You will be able to pick exactly what you want, which means that you can get a unit that has everything that you need. In most cases, a new furnace means a more energy efficient model. Energy efficient models scare a lot of people away, because they may be a little more expensive initially than less efficient models, but what most people don’t realize is that they will save you a lot more money long-term.
New furnaces also do a better job at keeping your home at the temperature that you choose. If you are battling cold spots or improper heating, an upgrade may be able to keep you more comfortable everywhere in your home. You may have also had a furnace that wasn’t well-suited to your home. Getting a new furnace ensures that you are getting a furnace that is the right size for your home.
When you get your furnace replaced, you can use this time as an opportunity to have your whole HVAC system checked over to make sure that everything is working just as it should be. This includes the ductwork, which is often overlooked in maintenance.