Replace My Furnace: Can I Wait Until Next Year?
Temperatures are dropping…there’s even a little nip in the night air here in Sullivan County. Before long, you’ll be relying on your furnace 24/7 – but will it be ready for that challenge for 6 months or more?
Choosing whether to repair or replace your furnace can sometimes be a black and white decision, but more often than not it’s a grey one. If you’re on the repair/replace fence, here are some questions to ponder in the coming weeks – preferably before the serious cold arrives.
How to tell if you need a new furnace:
- How old is your furnace? If you’re having problems with a furnace that’s more than 10 years old, more often than not replacing it with a high efficiency model is the smarter choice; if your furnace is younger than that, the choice becomes a little murkier. Here’s a rule of thumb: if a repair costs 50 percent or more of the replacement cost, it’s generally worth the upgrade – especially with older equipment.
- How is your furnace performing? Are you noticing that your furnace is having a harder time keeping your house warm than it used to – or that your bills are higher than usual even though the price of heating oil or propane hasn’t changed very much? An old furnace could be operating at 60 percent efficiency or even less – which means that forty cents of every dollar you spend on fuel is doing something other than heating your house. Be on the lookout for strange odors and sounds coming from your furnace, too.
- What is the maintenance history of your furnace? If you’ve maintained your furnace properly since you bought it, it will likely last longer and encounter fewer big problems over the years. 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.
- Is my current furnace safe? A 10-year-old furnace is more likely than a four- or five-year-old furnace to develop problems that could endanger your family. For example, older heat exchangers can crack or rust, causing carbon monoxide leaks in your home (this is why annual heating tune-ups are so important, especially with older equipment).
- 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 pushing your equipment to meet the demands of a new heating load – a problem that is likely to recur if you keep your old, undersized system in place.
The bottom line
A furnace is a long-term investment – but even a well-maintained one won’t last forever. If you’re spotting any of the problems listed above, it could be time for furnace upgrade – especially if your equipment is into its second decade.
Not sure whether a furnace replacement can wait? We can help you make a smart choice! Contact the heating experts at Black Bear today to learn more about furnace installations in Sullivan County, NY!