With the average furnace costing thousands of dollars once you factor in parts and installation, most homeowners consider it a costly investment. It makes sense to hold on to your heating system in that light for as long as possible. At some point, however, the downsides of keeping your current furnace will eventually outweigh the benefits.
While your HVAC specialist can quickly tell you when to cut your losses, a quick self-assessment will help you decide between a furnace repair and a complete replacement. Ask yourself the questions below if you’re at a crossroads regarding your furnace’s future.
Are Your Furnace Problems Minor or Major?
The severity of your furnace’s problems can easily tip the scales toward either repair or replacement. However, simple issues like a faulty thermostat or a clogged condensate drain often require little effort or investment. You can even take the DIY route to fix minor problems like clogged air filters and vents at little to no cost.
However, when faced with a significant furnace problem, the time, effort, and repair cost can sometimes exceed the cost and effort of a new heating system, even when you add labor and other miscellaneous expenses. If the repair cost exceeds a third of the price of a new furnace, you’re better off replacing it.
Furnace problems that take a long time to fix or require extensive changes can make a complete replacement more worthwhile. However, some issues, such as a cracked heat exchanger, offer no choice except to replace the furnace.
How Long Have You Had Your Furnace?
Today’s furnaces are robust enough to offer 20 to 30 years of reliable service. However, most manufacturers recommend turning an eye toward replacement at the 15-year mark. Continual wear and tear over a decade or more of kindness can make any furnace feel its age, which increases the frequency of repairs.
Consider the following if you have trouble deciding whether a repair or replacement is a good idea for your existing furnace:
- If your furnace is brand-new and already needs repair, consider replacing it under warranty, as it may have defects that affect its operation.
- Don’t worry about replacement if your furnace is just a few years old. Your heating system has plenty of years of faithful service ahead of it.
- If your furnace is over 15 years old but only needs the occasional repair, consider your replacement options and make plans if repairs increase in frequency.
- If your furnace is over 15 years old and suffers from constant issues, prepare for a complete replacement.
Care and upkeep also affect a furnace’s long-term health and influence your decision to repair or replace it. Regardless of age, a well-maintained furnace won’t need as many repairs as a neglected system.
How Many Repairs Has It Had So Far?
Occasional repairs and quick preventative fixes are a fact of life for most furnaces. What’s unusual, however, is to keep your furnace on life support via frequent repairs. Unfortunately, funneling time and money to keep your current furnace in service quickly turns into a game of diminishing returns, with each repair offering less benefit and a shorter lease on life for your furnace.
Not only do the financial costs add up to nurse your furnace along steadily, but you also have to consider the personal cost. Instead of dreading the following breakdown or scrambling to cover yet another repair bill, you’ll rest more comfortably and have greater peace of mind with a brand-new furnace.
Is Your Furnace Right for Your Home?
Recent improvements can leave your furnace out of step with your home’s changing heating needs. New additions, such as an extra room or an enlarged ceiling, can add additional strain to your existing furnace, resulting in more wear, higher energy consumption, and shorter service life. Complete remodeling can change so many aspects of your home that a new system becomes necessary.
Changing technology can also make your existing furnace outdated. Recent advances, including variable speed motors and modulating gas valves, help modern furnaces use less energy while maximizing heat output. Although you can retrofit these features on some existing furnaces, only a brand-new unit will thoroughly and efficiently use the new tech.
If your furnace was oversized or undersized from the start, now is the time to choose the right-sized replacement. Modern methods like Manual J load calculation let HVAC specialists select and install furnaces based on precision on square footage, insulation levels, and other home data.
Whether you choose repairs or a complete furnace replacement, the experts at Derek Sawyer’s Smart Energy Heating & Air are ready to help. Let us tackle your Central Valley home’s furnace repairs or help you choose the right upgrades to keep your home cozy. Contact us today if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment.
We offer HVAC maintenance services in the following areas:
- • Modesto AC repair and maintenance
- • Escalon AC repair and maintenance
- • Chico AC repair and maintenance
- • Ceres AC repair and maintenance
- • Atwater AC repair and maintenance
- • Newman AC repair and maintenance
- • Discovery Bay AC repair and maintenance
- • Latrop AC repair and maintenance
- • Gustine AC repair and maintenance
- • Turlock AC repair and maintenance
- • Lodi AC repair and maintenance
- • Elk Grove AC repair and maintenance
- • Los Banos AC repair and maintenance
- • Tracy AC repair and maintenance
- • Stockton AC repair and maintenance
- • Oakdale AC repair and maintenance
- • Manteca AC repair and maintenance
- • Galt AC repair and maintenance
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