Should I Repair or Replace My Furnace?
You’re not getting the same benefits your furnace used to provide when it was running effectively: this time around, you’re paying more for your utility bill, your furnace is struggling to keep your house warm, or you’re noticing signs of wear and tear—resulting in a noisy furnace or a furnace that cycles too frequently. What should you do—repair or replace it?
Determine How Old Your Furnace Is
Depending on the age of your furnace, replacing the heating system may be a no-brainer. The fact is, modern furnaces are not only much more energy-efficient than previous models, they’re can also be more cost effective to run in the long-term.
According to HVAC contractors, when your furnace reaches the age of 10-20 years old, it becomes much more likely to need replacement. To determine the age of your furnace:
- Remove the door on the outside of the furnace and inspect the interior for a label or tag, which will show the furnace’s serial number and may also reveal the manufacturer’s date.
- If the serial number is not present, shut off the furnace and inspect the fan and fan blades for the serial number stamp.
- Once you have the serial number, look at the first two digits, which can show the week of the year that your furnace was manufactured. The third and fourth digits tell the year.
- For more information, check for a sticker or tag that reveals the last time your electric or gas furnace was serviced.
- Finally, call the manufacturer to find out the age of your furnace, or schedule a furnace inspection, where a trained HVAC technician can help to discover or estimate the furnace age.
Not all furnaces need to be replaced the moment they turn over a decade old. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a furnace to last 20-30 years! The best way to maintain your furnace so that it will last is to schedule regular preventive maintenance twice a year.
Request A Furnace Inspection
Before you rush to purchase a new furnace, always request at least a maintenance inspection, which can save you hundreds or more by preventing an unnecessary replacement. A furnace maintenance inspection can help uncover signs you may need furnace repair, rather than a full-fledged replacement. In most cases, a NATE-certified technician can help you find a reliable solution for furnace repair.
Consider the Top Reasons Furnaces Get Replaced
A good HVAC technician will always try to help you get the most use out of your furnace before having to have a new one installed. Over time, however, there are some signs of furnace damage that may warrant no other option except to have it replaced. While the following reasons aren’t prescriptive, they may shed light that your furnace problem is serious:
- Your furnace is very old – gas furnaces typically last 18 years
- Your heating bill is increasing – steady inclines in energy costs is a sign of decreasing efficiency
- Repeat or frequent repairs – If furnace repair isn’t working, you may save more on a replacement
- Your furnace is making strange noises – old furnaces often make strange rattling, popping, or banging noises towards the end of their life
- The thermostat setting doesn’t keep you comfortable – if you’re constantly adjusting the thermostat, it could be because your furnace isn’t able to heat your home evenly
- The furnace burner flame is yellow, not blue – this is a serious issue, as your furnace may be producing carbon monoxide. Also look for streaks of soot around the furnace or extra moisture found on windows, walls, and other cold surfaces.
Do the Math: To Replace, or Repair, Your Furnace
When do you need to replace a furnace? The answer, as most homeowners come to realize, is when the costs of running your furnace outweighs the benefits of having it replaced with a more efficient model.
At National Heating and Air Conditioning, our professional HVAC contractors in Cincinnati, OH, are here to help. Still confused about choosing furnace repair or replacement? Call or contact us today to learn more about your heating options!