Having your furnace break down in the cold of winter is awful. It becomes cold in your home, and you know it’s going to cost you money. Even though this is a tough situation, it’s important to make the RIGHT decision about repairing your furnace, or replacing the system with a new one.
In this article, we will tell you a little bit more about the factors that should be taken into account when deciding whether or not to replace your furnace.
The first thing you are going to do when your furnace breaks down is call a professional. The odds are, you probably don’t know why your furnace stopped working, and without the help of a pro, it’s going to be tough to determine the actual problem.
Once you call an HVAC contractor, they will send someone out to inspect your furnace. This is the person who will likely have the best advice about what you should do. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any clue about your situation before the technician comes out though. Here are a few things you can think about, that may help you decide about repairing vs replacing.
First we are going to address three reasons you should repair vs. replace your furnace.
If your furnace is less than ten years old, you should probably look into a repair. A furnace should last 15 years or more, so replacing it before 10 years just doesn’t feel economical. If your furnace is constantly breaking down, and you haven’t had regular maintenance performed, it may be a candidate for replacement.
Still, if your furnace is relatively young, we would recommend repairing it, and then making sure you have regular maintenance before every heating season.
If your repair is minor or inexpensive, go ahead and go with the repair. Usually the smaller, less expensive repairs are quick, and something that won’t pop up again. Replacing your furnace is a big investment, and if the repairs aren’t too tough on your wallet, we would recommend going with the repair in this situation.
If you have your furnaced serviced regularly, it’s probably in decent shape. During a service call, your technician is going to clean up your furnace, and take a look at all the major components. During this service, you should have an opportunity to ask how much longer the technician thinks it will last.
If you furnace is on its last legs, your technician will let you know that it’s time to start thinking about a replacement.
The point here is that if your furnace is serviced regularly, it’s likely in decent condition, but something may have gone wrong to stop it from working properly. Call the technician who normally services your equipment and have them come take a look. They will more than likely be able to repair your system.
Now we want to go over three reasons you should replace vs repair your furnace. This is a big decision to make, but one that will likely save you money, and improve your home comfort in the long run.
If you are starting to need repairs to your furnace more and more often, it’s probably time to start looking for a replacement. This can become expensive having frequent repairs needed, and it leaves your home in a vulnerable position when it’s cold out.
When you factor in the cost of multiple repairs, plus the low efficiency a dying system is probably providing, it’s likely that this old system is costing you more than a replacement would. We would recommend replacing your system with an efficient furnace that will cost less to run, and won’t need frequent costly repairs.
If your furnace is more than 15 years old, it’s on it’s way out the door soon. Furnaces have a life expectancy of 10-20 years, depending on how well they are maintained. If you have an older furnace that is 15+ years old, you may be sinking money into a dying system anyway.
We recommend you start looking at replacements once your system hits the 15 year mark. Then if your system breaks down, you already have a plan in place to replace it and have a fresh new system in your home for a decade plus.
Replacing an old system with a new, efficient furnace will help out with your heating bills as well. Older systems tend to lose efficiency, and may cost more to run than they should. A new, high efficiency furnace will lower your energy bills and make you more comfortable.
If your heat exchanger is cracked, your system needs to be replaced. If you have a cracked heat exchanger, your system can leak poisonous carbon monoxide into your home, which is EXTREMELY dangerous. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that causes people to get very sick when breathed in. It causes nausea, headaches, and can even kill you.
Unfortunately, a heat exchanger can’t be repaired either. It must be replaced. This involves disassembling almost the entire furnace. This is a very expensive repair, and one that is usually happening with an older system that’s on its last legs anyway.
If you have a cracked heat exchanger, we would recommend replacing your system, unless this was some unusual accident in a new system. In that case, make sure the technician finds out WHY the exchanger was cracked, so that way it won’t happen again.
We recommend having your furnace repaired or replaced before the winter is here for good. The main reason is for you to make sure your home is comfortable when the cold comes. You don’t want to wait for a freezing week, turn on your furnace, and realize it’s not working properly.
The other reason is the wait time. If you wait until it’s very cold, contractors are more likely to be busy! This is when everyone wants their heating system taken care of, whether they need their furnace serviced, replaced, or repaired. Getting ahead of the crowd means that you aren’t subject to having to wait weeks for your heating to be taken care of.
All in all, you will save time and money by taking care of your furnace before the winter is officially here!
Compass Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. has been replacing and repairing furnaces in the Bloomingdale, IL area for years. We can help you find the problem with your furnace, and let you know what the best solution is to keep your home warm all winter long. Home heating is our specialty. Give us a call today at (630) 504-8688, or click here to schedule an appointment online.