Furnace Replacement Inevitable? Here’s a Checklist to Help Decide
If you own your home long enough, furnace replacement becomes a matter of “when,” not “if.” Every time your furnace actuates and the burner lights, the clock is ticking on its expected service life. The years of high-temperature heating followed by quick cooling takes its toll in wear and tear on components. Replacing a furnace before its usable lifespan has expired means you haven’t recouped your full return on investment. However, waiting until the furnace actually fails and you have to make an emergency replacement may mean you’ll pay higher costs for the new system and installation.
Here are a few signs to alert you that furnace replacement is approaching:
- Age: The average expected service life of a gas-fired furnace is 15 to 20 years. However, the average efficient service life—the span of time when the furnace operates at or near original energy efficiency—is generally less.
- Frequent repair bills: Components in a furnace are engineered to have a similar service life. Therefore, the failure of one or more major components often predicts the failure of others soon to follow. A rule of thumb is, if a repair or repairs approach 40 percent of the cost of a new furnace, replace the furnace instead of repairing.
- Decreasing performance: If the old unit can’t meet your home heating requirements like it once did, you’ll have to decide how much loss of comfort you’re willing to put up with before you make a decision to replace it. You might opt to wait until the off-season to get better prices on a new unit, for example.
- Cracked heat exchanger: The most expensive single component in your furnace, a heat exchanger is seldom cost-effective to repair once the furnace is out of warranty. A cracked heat exchanger is also a safety hazard that results in a furnace being red-tagged, or permanently shut down, making replacement mandatory.
Sobieski Services offers a complete line of makes and models for furnace replacement.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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