Finding out that your furnace is broken is a painful feeling. You know that it’s going to cost money, and your home may be a bit frigid in the meantime. You are also faced with the questions of is it time to repair or replace my furnace? There are a few key factors that go into that decision.
In my years of experience working with furnaces, I’ve seen all kinds of broken down systems, and even though all are similar, there are unique factors that help make the decision of repair vs replace.
In this article, I’ll go over the key factors. If you have any questions, please give us a call, or contact us online to speak to an expert about your broken heating system!
Signs That It Is Time To Replace Your Furnace
Just because your furnace stops working does not mean it needs to be replaced right away. There are a few factors that play a big role in the decision of repairing vs replacing your furnace.
If your furnace is constantly breaking down, it might be time to consider a replacement. Even if the repairs are small, once they start to pile up, it could turn into a more expensive proposition to keep it. Frequent repairs being needed also indicate that your system may be nearing the end of its lifespan.
Your System Is Old
The average lifespan of a furnace is about 15-20 years, if you keep it properly maintained. If your system is approaching or has surpassed this age, its efficiency and performance are likely diminishing as well. Just because it was working, doesn’t mean it was working well. Older furnaces tend to be less energy-efficient, which leads to extra energy consumption, and more money being spent unnecessarily on energy bills.
Your Furnace Isn’t Properly Heating
If your furnace struggles to maintain a consistent temperature or some rooms are warmer than others, it might be a sign that your furnace is no longer able to distribute heat effectively throughout your home. This could mean a problem with your furnace, your thermostat, or your ducts. Once a professional has a look, they should be able to tell you what the root of the problem is.
Your Energy Bills Are Too High
An unexpected increase in your energy bills can be a sign that your furnace is losing efficiency. As furnaces age, they often require more energy to produce the same amount of heat, leading to higher utility costs.
This is another one to consult with a professional about. If the system is towards the end of its life anyway, you may be spending more money in the long run by holding onto the last gasps of your furnace’s lifespan. Instead, a newer furnace may come with an initial upfront cost, but over the years of heating your home, will use less energy, and cost you less in the long run, while improving your home comfort.
The Repair Is Very Expensive
If a repair is going to cost a significant portion of the price of a new furnace, it might be more economical in the long run to invest in a new, more energy efficient system. We generally recommend considering a new furnace once the price of a repair reaches $1000+. You don’t want to sink money into a failing system that is likely going to have to be replaced in a year or 2 anyway!
When Should You Repair Your Furnace
Now that we have covered some situations where you should replace your furnace, here are a few that we would recommend a repair with.
Breakdowns Aren’t Too Frequent
If this is the first time that you need a repair, or maybe you haven’t had to have it repaired in a while, stick with the repair. As long as your system isn’t too old, and the repair isn’t too expensive, go for it!
Your System Is Newer
For a newer furnace, especially one still under warranty, repairs are often the best route. Newer systems generally don’t have as many problems, but if they do, it’s generally something smaller that can be taken care of quickly.
The Repair Is Inexpensive
Minor repairs, like replacing a thermostat or fixing a single component, can be quick and cheap. If the repair is not going to cost you too much money, and it’s not just a bandaid, then go with the repair!
Common Furnace Problems
Here are a few of the most common problems furnaces can run into, and what you should do to fix it.
Dirty Air Filter
A dirty air filter is a common issue that can reduce airflow and energy efficiency. It also can make the air inside your home dirtier. You should change your air filter every few months to keep the system clean and clear.
This is something you can do on your own, or have a professional take care of it when they perform regular maintenance.
The fan or blower is essential for circulating air throughout your home. If this component fails, it can lead to uneven heating. Depending on the age and condition of your furnace, repairing a broken fan or blower might be more reasonable than a full replacement. We recommend getting a quote, and having a conversation with your HVAC technician if this is a sign of more issues to come, or this fix will hold you over for the long haul!
Cracked Heat Exchanger
A cracked heat exchanger is a serious issue that can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide leaks, a VERY serious issue. This is usually a case where a replacement is needed, especially if the furnace is an older model. Replacing a heat exchanger can be very expensive as well. We recommend taking a look at upgrades and replacements for your furnace.
Replacing Your Furnace In Greenville, SC
If you're in Greenville, SC, and facing the decision to repair or replace your furnace, Blue Ridge Heating And Air can help you out. We have experts that have been working in homes and businesses for years, making sure that the entire space is comfortable all year long.
When selecting a new furnace, one of our experts can help you consider factors like energy efficiency ratings, size, and the type of furnace that best suits your home. We make sure that we pick the RIGHT system for your home, that has the right combination of size, efficiency, and cost.