Repair or Replace Your Furnace?

A responsible homeowner will keep their furnace well maintained and pay attention to how well it operates. The furnace keeps the home and it occupants warm and when this item is poorly maintained or very old, it won’t work as efficiently, it could become unreliable and it can even be a hazard to the people in the home. If you are having some type of problem with your home furnace, the question may arise as to whether you should get the unit fixed or if it is time to have a new furnace installed. When it comes to answering this question, you need to consider a few factors.

Furnace age

The age of the furnace in your home will be one of the most important things to consider when you are making this decision. If a homeowner has taken good care of their furnace, it should have an operating life of at least 15 years. However, it could breakdown even sooner if it has a poor maintenance history. If your furnace is beyond 15 years old and it requires some rather costly repairs, it is almost certainly time to get it replaced.

You may also want to consider getting the unit replaced if it is closing in on 15 years old. If it is getting toward the end of its operating life, you could get it fixed, but it might be getting to the point where repairs will become more common and the unit might need to be replaced in a few years anyway. With each year that passes on the life of a furnace, the amount of money that you are willing to spend on repairs should decrease. It might be worthwhile to spend $500 repairing a furnace that is 10 years old, but that same repair job is a bad investment for a unit that is 14 or 15 years old.

Cost benefit

When it comes to making this decision, you have to weigh the cost of each option and how you stand to benefit from the different options. As mentioned above, the age of the unit will play a significant role in the cost benefit analysis, but there are other factors to consider. Obviously, if the cost of the repair is close to the cost of replacement, then a new furnace is the way to go. Additionally, you will also want to consider how well a new heater will improve efficiency. If your heater is rather old, chances are that you can gain a significant increase in efficiency by installing a new furnace.

In regard to cost benefit, it really comes down how old your heater is, whether it is likely to continually need repairs, how much it will cost for the current repairs and whether you can save a significant amount of money by having a newer and more efficient furnace.

When you are trying to make this decision, it can help to consult with a reputable HVAC contractor. An experienced professional will be able to inspect the system and determine the cost and viability of repairs in comparison with the cost and benefits of having the furnace replaced. If you are unsure about which way to go, it can be helpful to have a professional assess the situation and explain the pros and cons of the different options.