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WeatherMakers Heating, Cooling & Plumbing Blog

When Should I Repair vs. Replace My Furnace?

WeatherMakers furnace technicians say they face one tough question on a regular basis when they’re out on their service calls: “Should I continue to repair my furnace, or should I just replace it?” When it’s obvious, the answer is simple, but when a furnace is on the fence, it’s a hard question to answer. We’ve pulled together some information from our experience that we hope will help you as a homeowner decide when to repair vs. replace your furnace, and more importantly, feel good about your decision.

When Should You Repair Your Furnace?

To answer this question, we need to consider your unit and its history. The first question we will ask you is whether or not you’ve been investing in annual maintenance. If so, and the furnace is less than 10 years old, there’s a good chance that we’re in fix-it territory. The reason is this, annual maintenance ensures that your furnace runs efficiently and problem-free. If it’s under 10 and hasn’t suffered any abuse or shutdowns, it’s likely still in good shape.

That said, if you’ve been ignoring your furnace, and after 6-8 years it’s finally given up, well, the cost to fix all the issues could be on the high side. What we do then is take a look at all that’s wrong and cost it out. If repairs = replacement, it might be a wiser choice to upgrade to a newer, more efficient furnace. Honestly, in this case, it’s all in the math, and we’ll give you an upfront, transparent estimate of work so you can make your best decision.

Now, to get back to those tricky on-the-fence furnaces. In short, we take into consideration frequency of repairs, cost of repairs per year, and age of the unit. As age and repair costs go up, in particular, so should your impetus to replace the furnace. If you’re calling us more than twice a year, your repair costs are over $500, and your furnace is older than 10 years, let’s think about replacing the unit. Take a look at the questions below and see how often you answer yes.

Furnace Analysis Questions

  1. Is My Furnace 10 Years or Older?
    Most furnaces last 10-16 years. Once a furnace is 10 or more years old, it’s on the decline. Regular maintenance will help you win more years from it, but in general, your furnace owes you nothing after the age of 12. To check the age of your furnace, simply look at the installation label – it will have the date of installation and the date it was manufactured. If you’re having trouble finding it, write down the serial number and get in touch with us or the manufacturer.
  2. Does My Furnace Require Frequent Service Calls?
    Annual maintenance is not a service call, but a conked-out furnace is, and so is a call to fix a squeak, low heat, or continual running. Are you calling us every few months because your furnace isn’t working properly? Constant repairs add up, so talk to one of our technicians and [get a professional furnace evaluation and inspection]. A new furnace may be the solution to staying safe and keeping your overall costs down.
  3. Are My Energy Bills Rising?
    Furnaces lose efficiency as they age, especially if they haven’t been getting annual maintenance. At some point, your old furnace will cost more to run than a new, more efficient furnace. We can help you make that evaluation by providing you the cost to buy, install and run a new unit, and you can compare that to your costs to run the old furnace.
  4. What’s the Quality of the Furnace Air?
    Is your home stuffy, dusty and dry? It’s likely that the humidification and filtration attached to your older furnace is shot. Don’t discount creature comforts, there are excellent new filtration and humidification products on the market, and investing in them and a new furnace could change your quality of life for the better.

Options for Affordability

Many people put off getting a new furnace as long as possible because it’s just too expensive for their budget at the time. But it doesn’t have to be. WeatherMakers offers financing options, and in some situations, there are rebates in place to help bring costs down. If you need help deciding whether to repair or replace your furnace, call WeatherMakers today. Our experienced technicians will do a thorough inspection and give you recommendations based on their findings.

Learn how to troubleshoot your furnace.
Learn more about replacement furnaces.

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