Your furnace is among the most essential features of your household during the winter. So, what happens when your furnace needs a tune-up? Is it worth it to repair it? Or do you just bite the $2,000+ bullet and replace the unit altogether?
We want you to stay warm this winter, so here are eight questions to ask yourself when deciding to replace or repair your furnace.
Question 1: How old is my furnace?
One of the most significant factors in deciding to repair or replace is how old your furnace is. On average, you can expect a furnace to last 15-20 years. Many factors contribute to your furnace’s lifespan: good maintenance, quality of repairs, usage, original efficiency. But if it’s less than 15 years old, you’re probably better off repairing it.
Question 2: When was my last repair?
Furnaces start needing more frequent repairs in the last two years of their lives. If you’ve called in the pros more than a couple times over the previous two years, it might be worth it to replace your unit.
Question 3: How long did my last repair take?
You can’t underestimate the value of your time. Did it take weeks to get your replacement parts the last time you needed a repair? If so, this means your unit is becoming outdated. This makes replacement a better choice.
Question 4: What do my heating bills look like?
You expect your winter heating bills to be high, but not this high. If you notice a significant difference between this year’s and last year’s heating bills, it might be time for a replacement. As it ages, your furnace loses efficiency—so the older your furnace is, the more money it takes to heat your home. Weigh the costs of a full replacement against how much more you’re paying on your monthly heating bills.
Question 5: Am I still comfortable?
Loss of efficiency also means your furnace isn’t as great at distributing all that warm air around your home. This leads to uneven heating and worse indoor air quality. If you’re experiencing any of these things, it might be time to replace your furnace:
- Colder indoor temperatures
- Constant cycling to keep up with your heating needs
- Hot and cold spots
- Drier or stuffier air
- More dust accumulation
- Static shocks
- Drooping plants
- Cracking furniture
- Musical instruments not staying in tune
Question 6: Am I hearing strange noises?
When you’re turning on your furnace for the first time this season, you might hear some rattling or other sounds as your furnace gets back into working condition. But ongoing sounds like banging, popping, rattling, and squealing are indications of a problem. It could be something easy to repair. Or it could mean your furnace is working way too hard to heat your home. Calling in Dracut HVAC tech can help you decide your next steps.
Question 7: Am I moving soon?
Furnaces are long-term investments. If you’re moving homes within the next year or so, it’s essential to factor in your furnace. You might need to replace the furnace to meet inspection standards or to make your home more marketable.
Question 8: Are there any other funky things happening in my house?
All furnaces come with a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. But the older your furnace, the more likely this deadly problem becomes. Here are some warning signs that carbon monoxide is leaking into your home:
- Yellow or flickering flame inside your furnace
- Streaks of soot around the unit
- Absence of upward draft in your chimney
- Moisture on walls, windows, or other cold surfaces
- Rusting on flue pipes or appliances jacks
- Water leaking from the base of the chimney, a vent, or flue pipe
- Rust on an outside vent pipe
- Sudden onset of nausea, disorientation, headaches, drowsiness, or other flu-like symptoms
If the last one is true, get outside immediately and call for emergency assistance. Then contact us to discuss your replacement options.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line often comes down to weighing age against cost. Here’s our general recommendation: If your current furnace is less than 15 years old—and if fixing it would cost less than half the price of a replacement unit—then repair it. But every situation is unique, and we’d be happy to offer a custom recommendation.
As your Dracut HVAC professionals, we can handle all your furnace needs. Give us a call today!
I am proud of the skills and knowledge I have gained during my 15 years working Plumbing and HVAC. I started as an apprentice, assigned to do basic tasks like carrying tools and materials, drilling holes and digging trenches. I was hungry to learn and expand my career opportunities, so I enrolled in an after-school training program for both my HVAC training and Journeyman license. I loved learning about both trades and felt like I was finally on the right track. When I passed my Journeyman Plumbing exam, I started to do side jobs which allowed me to experience the business owner side of things. This completely changed my perspective on my career and drove me to continue to pursue owning my own Plumbing & HVAC business. I continued my training and earned my Master’s license. With the support of my amazing wife, I started my own business SDP Plumbing, Heating and Cooling in 2016. Three years later, we rebranded the company as New Era Plumbing & HVAC. I could not be more proud of my career path and my company. Our core values are: Faith, Family, Empathy, Giving, Service and Quality. I train our team on adhering to these every day. We love taking care of our customers and are proud to serve our community.