Repair Or Replace Furnace: How To Decide What To Do

Should I Repair Or Replace My Furnace? (Guide)

When the cold winds of winter start blowing, there’s nothing quite like the comforting warmth of a well-functioning furnace. But what happens when that trusty appliance starts showing signs of wear and tear?

The decision to repair or replace your furnace is a critical one, impacting your:

  • Comfort
  • Energy efficiency
  • Wallet

If you’re tired of scrolling through a Google search for “repair or replace furnace,” you’re in the right place! In this guide, we’ll delve into the factors that can help you make an informed choice, including the differences between repairs and replacements, the average lifespan of furnaces, signs indicating it’s time for a replacement, and those indicating a repair will suffice.

furnace with rust in the interior

Understanding the Difference Between Furnace Repairs and Replacements

Before diving into the decision-making process, it’s crucial to understand the fundamental differences between repairing and replacing a furnace. Furnace repair typically refers to fixing specific issues that may arise due to wear and tear, faulty components, or minor malfunctions.

On the other hand, a furnace replacement entails getting an entirely new furnace installed, often due to irreparable damage, inefficiency, or the desire to upgrade to a more energy-efficient model.

How Long Do Furnaces Typically Last?

One of the primary factors to consider when deciding between repairing and replacing your furnace is its age. Your heating system isn’t designed to last indefinitely; it has a finite lifespan. On average, a well-maintained furnace can last anywhere from 15 to 20 years. However, this can vary depending on factors such as the quality of the original installation, the frequency of maintenance, and the brand of the furnace.

Signs You Should Replace Your Furnace

A furnace replacement can seem like a big step, but can be essential in ensuring the safety of your home. Here are some signs that you should replace your furnace.

  • Frequent Breakdowns and Costly Repairs: If your furnace seems to be constantly breaking down and requiring costly repairs, it might be a sign that its overall condition is deteriorating. At a certain point, the accumulated repair costs could outweigh the benefits of investing in a new, more reliable unit.
  • Age of the Furnace: If your furnace is approaching or has exceeded its expected lifespan, it’s a good idea to start considering replacement options. Older furnaces are more prone to inefficiency, increased energy consumption, and a higher likelihood of breakdowns.
  • Energy Efficiency: Newer furnace models are designed to be more energy-efficient, which can lead to substantial savings on your energy bills over time. If your current furnace has a low energy efficiency rating, upgrading to a more efficient model could make financial sense in the long run.
  • Uneven Heating and Temperature Fluctuations: If you’re experiencing inconsistent heating throughout your home or noticing frequent temperature fluctuations, it could indicate that your furnace is struggling to distribute heat evenly. This might be a sign that a replacement is needed to ensure consistent comfort.
  • Rising Energy Bills: If you’ve noticed a significant increase in your energy bills without a corresponding change in your usage habits, your furnace might be operating at a lower efficiency level. Upgrading to a newer, more efficient model could help bring your energy costs back under control.
  • Carbon Monoxide – One of the biggest dangers associated with a broken furnace is that it could leak carbon monoxide into your home. Carbon monoxide poisoning has lethal consequences and requires a professional HVAC technician to fix.

close up of a finger on a thermostat

Signs That a Repair Will Suffice

A new heating system may not be the only solution for your home. Furnace repairs can be very effective at helping to lower your heating bills and keep your home warm. Here are some signs that a furnace repair might be right for you.

  • Recent Installation: If your furnace is relatively new and has been properly maintained, it’s more likely that a repair will address any issues that arise. Newer units are less likely to experience major breakdowns and may still have a long service life ahead.
  • Minor Component Malfunctions: Sometimes, the problem with your furnace might be isolated to a specific component, such as a faulty thermostat or a damaged ignitor. These issues can often be repaired without the need for a full replacement.
  • Cost-Effective Solution: When the repair costs are significantly lower than the cost of a new furnace, and the unit’s overall condition is still good, a repair can provide a cost-effective solution to keep your home warm and comfortable.
  • Non-Mechanical Issues: If the issue with your furnace is related to something other than its mechanical components, such as ductwork, airflow, or thermostat settings, a repair might be all that’s necessary to restore proper functionality.
  • Manufacturer’s Warranty: If your furnace is still under warranty, repairs covered by the warranty can be a viable option. Keep in mind that warranties usually have terms and conditions, so it’s important to understand what’s covered before proceeding with a repair.

Cost of Repairing a Furnace

Repairing a furnace can be an attractive option when the issues it’s experiencing are isolated and not indicative of larger, systemic problems. Repair costs can vary widely based on the nature of the problem, the complexity of the repair, and the specific parts that need replacement. Minor repairs, such as fixing a faulty thermostat or replacing a malfunctioning ignitor, tend to be less expensive than major repairs involving components like the blower motor or heat exchanger.

worker inspecting a furnace

The good news is that repairs are relatively inexpensive, only costing between $50-$300 on average.

Cost of Replacing a Furnace

The cost of replacing a furnace involves several components, including the price of the new unit, installation fees, and any additional expenses related to upgrading your system. New furnace models are available at various price points, with factors like brand, size, and energy efficiency influencing the overall cost. If your goal is an efficient furnace, you might have a higher upfront cost, but it can lead to substantial energy savings in the long run, offsetting the initial investment.

Additionally, if your current furnace is not energy-efficient and you choose to upgrade to a more efficient model, you may be eligible for rebates or incentives offered by utility companies or government programs. These incentives can help offset the upfront cost of replacement and provide long-term savings on your energy bills.

Most new furnaces cost somewhere between $6000-$10,000.

Create an Efficient Heating System

When it comes to making sure you get the best out of your furnace, call on Aquarius Home Services! Our highly experienced team can help you find an HVAC system solution that works with your budget and needs. Contact us today to set up your appointment.

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