This year’s heating season has already started and will run through early May in Maryland. Over the next five to six months, your furnace will run heavily – is it up to the job? If your heating system just doesn’t seem to be cutting it this year, you have a decision to make: furnace repair vs. furnace replacement.
How to Decide Between Furnace Repair Vs. Furnace Replacement
Unfortunately, there’s no magical formula that tells you exactly when you should choose to repair or replace your furnace. When making this critical decision, you need to look at the facts and consider your furnace’s individual performance. Here are some of the important factors to evaluate as you decide whether repairing or replacing your furnace is the better option
Timing is Everything
Most gas furnaces have a service life expectancy between 15 and 20 years, on average. How long they really last is greatly impacted by maintenance habits and how much they are used over the years. When your furnace gets close to or surpasses this range, you typically want to consider replacement.
It’s not unusual for a furnace to last beyond 15 to 20 years, but if yours does, you need to consider whether it’s able to deliver the performance and efficiency you want. Heating technology has advanced greatly over the years, and newer furnaces offer energy efficient features that were not built into older units. Replacing your old furnace with a new model can deliver better efficiency to generate valuable energy savings.
Also, consider that the efficiency of a furnace declines over the years. The AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating on your older furnace’s label is most likely not the actual efficiency it performs at. You need to consider how furnace efficiency affects heating costs and where you’d like your energy bills to be this winter. Have you noticed your energy bills rising over the past few winters? That’s a clear sign that your furnace’s efficiency is declining.
Beyond the age and efficiency factors, you need to consider comfort – after all, what good is a furnace if it doesn’t keep your home comfortable? If it’s been difficult to keep your home warm this winter or in the past, furnace failure could be imminent. Of course, a minor issue could be to blame that is fixable. It’s a wise idea to have your furnace inspected to get a better idea of what’s going on. A professional inspection will tell you if the issue can be repaired affordably or whether it’s time to replace the unit.
It also might be time to upgrade to a new heating system if there are strange noises or smells coming from your current furnace. A cracked heat exchanger can emit carbon monoxide into the home and is a definite sign it’s time to replace your furnace.
No one wants to keep sinking money into a dying furnace, but how do you know when to stop making repairs and choose a new heating system instead? Typically, furnaces need more repairs in their final two years of service. Think back on the last winter or two – have you called us for repairs more than usual? Have you already made costly repairs to the furnace this year?
If repairs are relatively inexpensive and provide a solution to the issue at hand, you may decide it’s worth it to make the repair. However, if the repairs will only provide a temporary fix, it’s time to consider replacement.
If you’re facing expensive furnace repairs, think about whether or not your money is better invested in a new unit than propping up an older one. A simple formula that can help you make your decision is this: multiply the cost of the repair times the age of the furnace. If the total repair costs are more than the cost of a new unit, choose a new furnace.
Furnace Repair vs. Furnace Replacement – Grove Does It All!
Whether your repair or replace your furnace – Grove’s heating and cooling technicians are available to help. We perform repairs on all makes and models of furnaces and provide quality installation for new Trane furnaces. Contact us today to schedule service, request an estimate, or have your furnace inspected by a professional.