Should I Repair or Replace My Furnace? Four Key Questions to Ask
“Should I repair or replace my home heating system?” is a question that most homeowners will eventually have to ask themselves. If you find yourself among that crowd this spring, there are several factors you should consider when making your decision.
Here are four key questions to ask yourself in the furnace repair/replace debate:
- How old is your system? Today’s furnaces typically last about 12-15 years, especially if they are properly maintained by a professional (see below). But that doesn’t mean they’ll be running at peak efficiency toward the end of that cycle. If you’re having problems with a heating system that’s more than 10 years old, replacing it is often the smarter choice – especially if the efficiency of your equipment has been dropping steadily; at less than that age, you will have a tougher decision.
- Is my current system safe? A 10-year-old furnace carries a much higher risk of safety issues than one that is newly installed. For example, the heat exchanger of an older furnace is more likely to crack or rust, causing carbon monoxide leaks in your home.
- How well has your furnaced been maintained? If you are the original owner of your furnace, you’ll have a better idea of how the equipment has been maintained; if it has been seen every year by a reputable heating system specialist, the odds are good that it will last longer and perform well later into its lifespan. However, while proper maintenance may help you delay replacing your system for a few years longer, no amount of maintenance will make your equipment more efficient than it was when you bought it – or more efficient than a new furnace.
- Have my heating needs changed? If you’ve added space to your house without changing your furnace, the next breakdown you have could be caused by pushing your equipment beyond its limits to handle the new heating load – a problem that is likely to recur if you keep your old system in place.
When you weight the costs and benefits of repairing or replacing older equipment with more efficient furnace equipment, there are often significant advantages to replacing an older system. Is repair ever a viable option?
- Your system is less than 5-7 years old or less
- The damage or performance drop-off has been relatively minor
- You’re planning to move
- You know that incentive options (a federal or state utility rebate program, for example) are planned but have not yet arrived
- Your furnace is properly sized
- You simply can’t afford a new system
The bottom line: A furnace is a long-term investment in your family’s comfort – and like any investment, you need to do your research to find the best way to spend your money.
When it comes time to make your furnace repair/replace choice, make it a smart one – call the pros at JW Pierson.
Not sure if you should repair or replace your furnace? We can help! Contact us today to discuss furnace repair and furnace installation in northern NJ!