“When should I replace my furnace?” is a common question that HVAC contractors hear almost daily. Unfortunately, the answer often replied is “a while ago.” That’s because many homeowners put off replacing their furnace until something goes wrong.
This attitude can be detrimental to your wallet (and even your health). It is understandable, replacing a furnace is a big decision and can be expensive. Unlike making other large purchases, like a car, a new furnace is not an exciting purchase to make. However, it’s necessary and practical and something you should not put off.
If you are like many other Canadians, wondering when you should replace your furnace, here are some simple indicators that it’s time:
With regular maintenance, an average furnace should last about 20 years. Once it hits the wrong side of 15, then you need to start managing decline. At this point, you should start putting aside some funds to repair or replace your existing furnace.
Once your furnace starts to require costly repairs it is time to considering replacing it. Nothing lasts forever, but furnaces should not require constant maintenance to run properly. As a general rule, if you are paying close to 50% of the total cost of your furnace to repair it, then it will probably be worth replacing it altogether.
You should also take your furnace’s age into consideration. Paying 10% of the total cost of a new furnace towards repairing your existing furnace isn’t that big of a deal when your furnace is only 5 years old, but it if it nearing the end of its life cycle, then you might want to simply replace your furnace.
For example: if a new furnace costs $3000, then you should consider replacing any furnace that would cost $1500 to repair – regardless of age. If your 3-year old furnace costs $300 to repair, then it is worth keeping, but if your 18-year old furnace costs $100 to repair, you may want to think about replacing it.
Are you noticing your gas or electricity bills growing steadily higher despite not changing your lifestyle? It may be that your furnace is losing efficiency. Also, note that older furnaces will always be more inefficient than newer models. According to Energy.gov which regulates furnace and boiler efficiency in the US, older models are 56%-70% efficient, while some newer options are up to 98.5% efficient. Replacing your existing furnace with a more efficient model will save you money, and help the environment.
Inconsistent heating between rooms could indicate an issue with your furnace, ductwork, or insulation. Hire an HVAC professional to help determine the cause of the problem – you may not have to replace your furnace.
Your Home’s Humid or Dusty
Dust and humidity can both be caused by issues with your furnace and ductwork. Dust can cause asthma attacks and irritate allergies, especially in young children and the elderly.
You may not be an HVAC professional, but if your furnace starts making funny noises then it’s a pretty good indication that something is not right. Calling in a professional to diagnose the problem early can save you some serious headaches down the road.
Failing to replace your furnace can result in higher energy bills, health problems, and even more serious issues (like a gas leak or a buildup of exhaust). Before you make the decision to repair or replace your furnace, call Aire One. We’ll diagnose problems with your furnace and provide helpful suggestions that meet your budget.