In our last post, we talked about the importance of scheduling heating maintenance during the fall so you’re prepared for the coming winter. Maintenance does have its limits, however. At some point, the furnace that warms your home and keeps your family safe during cold weather will move beyond where repairs and regular maintenance will do much good. Time for a new furnace.
Is this the fall when you decide to stop maintaining or repairing your furnace and instead invest in a new one? We’ll look at some of the factors that can help you decide about a furnace replacement in Hillsboro, OH.
The age of the furnace
The standard gas furnace can last around 15 years if it has regular maintenance. Electric furnaces can last 20 or more years. If your furnace is above its service life estimate, we strongly recommend having it replaced, even if it still seems to outwardly work well. The furnace will become less reliable, more prone to repairs, and more costly to run once it becomes too old. If your furnace is approaching the upper range of its service life, pay even closer attention to other warning signs that it’s in decline.
Does your furnace leave cold spots around your house when this wasn’t a problem before? This is one of the biggest warning signs that a furnace is dying. It’s losing its heating capacity so that it can provide warmth for the center of the house but can’t reach the more distant rooms. If the furnace is already old, uneven heating is a good reason to get a new furnace.
This is a serious problem with gas furnaces. With time, the reaction between combustion gas and the metal of the heat exchanger can cause corrosion, and this can weaken the heat exchanger to the point where it cracks and allows toxic gas into the home. Corrosion is also generally a sign a furnace is far too old. We advise having a replacement done as soon as possible.
Rising heating costs
Keep a watch on how much you pay on your energy bills (electric or gas) each winter. This way you can track if you’ve started to pay more. If you’ve noticed an increase in heating costs and it isn’t due to a change in energy prices or greater use of the furnace, then it’s worthwhile having professionals come to inspect the furnace to find out if it’s failing.
You can use some rules of thumb to gauge whether a specific repair is worth the cost or if it’s better to replace the furnace. One is the “Rule of 5,000.” Take the age of the furnace in years and multiply it by the estimated cost of the repair. Is the result greater than 5,000? If so, it’s more cost-effective to put that money into purchasing a new furnace. We also don’t recommend paying for any repair that’s more than half the price of a replacement furnace.