The question of whether to replace or repair your furnace can usually be boiled down to how old your unit is or how extensive of a repair it needs. A furnace that has had regular maintenance can last you up to 20 years, although anything older than 15 years is when you would want to start considering replacing your furnace rather than repairing it.
Another rule of thumb is that if your repair cost is less than half the cost of replacement, go for the repair. If the repair cost is higher than that, you will probably be best served by replacing. Keep reading for some more tips on how to decide whether it’s time to replace your furnace.
Replacing a furnace versus repairing a furnace
Here are a few things we recommend you consider when thinking about your furnace needs.
Age of furnace
As we mentioned already, the first factor you need to consider is how old your furnace is. Most will last 15-20 years if they’ve been well-maintained. If your furnace is 10-15 years old or newer and tends to be in good condition, repairs are the way to go. If it’s older than that, start looking into replacements.
Frequency and cost of needed repairs
All furnaces should receive yearly preventive maintenance for optimum functionality. If you’ve been consistent with your maintenance and are still having to call an expert for multiple repairs, consider replacing the furnace. If your repair costs are less than 1/3rd of the cost of a new heating system, you’re fine to invest in the repair.
How to tell if your furnace needs attention
Most likely you’ve never had a lesson in school on furnace maintenance. It can be hard to know exactly what to look for when you’re determining how well your furnace is running. Here are some of the most common things to look out for.
Jump in energy bills
It’s typical for homes in the Kansas City area to use electricity to power their air conditioning and gas to power their furnaces. So we’re all used to our gas bill jumping significantly once the weather gets cold. You always want to keep track of how much your bills were the year before, because a higher than usual energy bill is a surefire sign that something is amiss. If your energy bills are skyrocketing trying to keep your home warm, you’ll want to call in an expert to assess your unit.
Strange noises from your furnace
A furnace is going to make some noise, though newer systems are quieter and quieter. However, if your furnace is making loud clanging, banging, rattling, popping, or hissing noises it means something is wrong.
Burner flame is yellow
If the burner flame on your furnace is yellow, it means fuel combustion is not complete. This can lead to a production of carbon monoxide, a common household pollutant that’s incredibly dangerous. You’ll want to call a furnace expert immediately if you notice this. For those who don’t want to get face to face with their flame, installing a carbon monoxide detector in the same space as your furnace is a great idea. Carbon monoxide detectors are inexpensive and easy to find.
Call Santa Fe Air to learn more about furnace repair
You can get a solid 20 years out of your furnace with routine maintenance and repair. At Santa Fe Air, our HVAC experts know the ins and outs of furnace repair versus replacement and can help you find solutions, without pushy sales tactics!