Do you think it’s time to replace your old furnace?
Making the decision to replace your heating equipment isn’t an easy one. Heating equipment is essential to your home comfort during the winter, but it is also expensive. You don’t want to end up replacing your unit unnecessarily, but you don’t want to be without heat during the coldest parts of the year. After all, Murphy’s Law suggests that your furnace is most likely to quit when you need it most.
If you are faced with the decision to repair or replace your old unit, here are some things to ask yourself:
- How old is my unit? The average gas furnace lasts about 20 years. If your furnace is somewhere in the 15-20 year range, and you are faced with a repair, chances are you’re just delaying the inevitable if you decide not to replace. Plus, furnaces manufactured even 10 years ago don’t include some of the amazing features modern air conditioners include – like quiet operation, more even temperatures and high efficiency. In fact, even a standard-efficiency furnace purchased today may be significantly more efficient than your old system.
- How expensive is the repair? Think of your furnace like your car – if it costs more to fix the unit that it costs to replace it, opt for replacement. Look at the cost of making repairs and weight that against the cost of replacement (don’t forget about the money-saving benefit of added efficiency and potential rebates). If you are struggling to make a replacement fit within your budget, ask your contractor about the financing options they offer.
- How high are my utility bills? If you are experiencing high heating bills during the winter, or bills that are creeping up in cost each month, it is better to replace your system. As gas furnaces age, they may lose efficiency due to regular wear and tear. So, not only will your old unit most likely have started off at a lower efficiency rating brand new, it may have lost that rated efficiency over years of use.
- How loud is my gas furnace? Loud bangs and blanks coming from your unit when it kicks on or is in operation are not a good sign. This can indicate that it is time to call a contractor and discuss a repair. If it’s determined that those noises are coming from one of the main components of your furnace, it’s best to replace.
Whether you decide to repair or replace, the process needs to start with the search for a qualified local contractor. It isn’t going to matter if you replaced your old system with a new, high-efficiency model if the installation was not done correctly. Ask friends and family for recommendations, check online review sites and get several different quotes. The cost of the multiple service calls may seem unnecessary, but if it ends up saving you money or getting a better install, it is worth it.
If you need a jumping off point, check out the Maytag dealer locator.