When the colder weather arrives, we rely on our furnaces to keep our homes warm and comfortable. So, when the furnace fails, it can cause havoc to your daily routine, and an unexpected professional repair will make a dent in your monthly budget. It’s important to get the heat back on quickly when it’s cold outside, but if your furnace is an older model, it may be a better idea to replace it instead. Making the decision to repair or replace a furnace can be tricky, but in this article, we will examine the issue in more detail, and hopefully, this will make the choice easier.
A Brief Overview
Let’s face it; there are only two considerations involved in choosing between a furnace repair or a replacement; they are the costs and the level of indoor comfort in your home. In the majority of cases, the choice may seem simple; a repair will cost less, and so most homeowners will choose that as the most cost effective option. Sometimes the decision may be obvious; the furnace may be uneconomical to repair when compared to purchasing and installing a brand new furnace with modern features. The key to making that final decision is balancing these two considerations, in relation to how the furnace is performing and behaving.
How is Your Furnace Performing and Behaving?
During the winter months, your furnace will be in constant use, and this is the time when the performance and daily behavior will be obvious. When you take a closer look at a furnace, there are four key factors that you can evaluate to determine between a repair or a replacement.
- How Often Do You Have a Furnace Problem?
A furnace repair is often a cheaper option compared to a replacement, but if you need frequent repairs, the costs quickly mount up over time. Even if the problems are relatively minor, a professional repair will cost money, and if your furnace needs the same problem fixed three or four times in the past couple of years, it’s a costly one. In most cases, a single one off repair is the cheapest option, but once you get two, three, or four repairs in, you may have spent more than a new furnace costs. Sticking with a furnace that’s developing regular faults leads to a regular interruption in home heating, and it can cost more in the medium to long term. Switching to a brand new furnace with none of these flaws and consistent heating performance may be a better choice.
- How Energy Efficient is Your Furnace?
As a furnace ages, it loses energy efficiency, and this can have a major impact on your energy bills. Regular servicing and maintenance can improve the energy efficiency, but eventually, every furnace succumbs to this loss in efficiency. An older furnace will have a much lower AFUE and SEER rating, and it may cost a lot of money to use. The HVAC industry is a fast moving field, and innovations are constantly introduced to improve cooling and heating equipment. The furnaces available now are far more energy efficient than those manufactured a decade ago. So, it’s important to factor energy efficiency into your thinking when you’re deciding between a furnace repair or replacement. Switching out your old furnace for a newer unit will result in energy savings that will offset the purchasing and installation costs significantly. If you need advice on how a modern furnace can save you money on energy, contact your local HVAC company for expert help and advice.
- How Much Will The Furnace Repair Cost?
A furnace is a complex piece of equipment, and it contains many components that are expensive to repair or replace. There are certain major furnace components that are simply uneconomical to repair or replace, such as the compressor. If one or more of these components fails, it’s a sure sign that the furnace is on it’s way out. Even if the component can be repaired, it’s likely to fail again, and a new part is an expensive option. Unless your furnace is very new, it’s usually a better idea to replace the unit if you get one or more major component failures. Switching to a new modern furnace will ensure that you getter a better unit that’s less likely to fail when you need it most. Again, this is a judgment call, seek professional advice from a trusted HVAC technician, and they will be happy to give you their opinion.
- How Old is Your Furnace?
The age of your furnace is extremely important when you need to choose between a repair or replacement. A furnace is designed to work for up to a decade with a gradual loss of energy efficiency during that period. The useful lifespan of your heating equipment can be extended with regular servicing and maintenance. An HVAC technician should inspect your furnace once per year before the start of the heating season. They can evaluate your furnace, make adjustments and minor repairs, and ensure that your equipment is ready for the colder months ahead. If you have a furnace that’s older than ten years old, the age needs to be factored into your decision. As a furnace goes beyond a decade or so, the performance and efficiency will degrade rapidly. This will lead to more frequent repairs, and the costs can really add up over a couple of years.
Making the Final Decision
Using the information above will help you to choose between a furnace repair or replacement. Seeking expert advice from a local certified HVAC technician is also highly recommended before you make a final decision. If you choose a furnace replacement, ask for advice on the best model to suit your home. Modern furnaces have many features that make them easier to use, they have better heating performance, and they are more energy efficient. Replacing a furnace may cost more initially, but it will save money in the future, and you can rely on it in the colder months ahead.