Should I Repair Or Replace My Older Furnace?
“Should I repair or replace my home heating system?” is a question that most homeowners will eventually have to ask themselves. If that’s you this year, there are several factors you should consider when weighing your decision.
Here are five 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 – 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 or 12 years old, replacing can often be the smarter choice – especially if the efficiency and performance of your equipment has been dropping. At less than that age, you will have a tougher decision – one you should discuss with a heating professional.
- Is my current system safe? A 15-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, which could cause a carbon monoxide leak in your home. How safe is your furnace? Ask your heating technician.
- How well has your furnaced been maintained? If you are the original owner of your furnace, you’ll know how your heating equipment has been maintained; if it has been seen every year by a reputable heating contractor, the odds are good that it will perform better for longer. 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 overwork to your heating system – a problem that is likely to recur if you keep your old system in place.
- What incentives are available? Sometimes, the repair/replace decision can be so close that it’s difficult to call; that’s when incentives can come into play. The availability or rebates, statewide efficiency incentives and low-interest financing options like NIEF Energy Plus energy loans (courtesy of the National Energy Improvement Fund) can really tip the scales in favor of a heating system upgrade.
When you weigh 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 JW Pierson today to discuss furnace repair and furnace installation in Essex, Passaic, and Bergen counties, NJ.