Should I Repair or Replace My Furnace?

extend furnace lifespan

If your furnace has been breaking down on a frequent basis, not providing the comfort it used to, or your energy bills are unexpectedly higher, you may need to repair or replace the unit. The last thing you want is for your furnace to break down in the middle of winter, so it’s important to know the lifespan of your furnace and be proactive with repairs.

EnergyStar recommends replacing your furnace if it’s more than 15 years old. At that point, the amount of money you will save on monthly utility bills is significant, because new systems are held to higher standards for energy efficiency. Newer furnaces are also made to function better, making your home more comfortable than ever before.

If you’re not sure whether it’s time to repair or replace your furnace, watch out for the following signs.

Signs You Should Repair Your Furnace

If you don’t think it’s time to replace your furnace just yet, it’s best to have a team of expert technicians examine your unit. They can determine if having it repaired is worth the price based on the unit’s lifespan and current condition.

If you notice any of these signs, it may be best to have your furnace repaired rather than replaced:

  • Inadequate Heating: If your furnace is no longer providing sufficient warmth, even after adjusting the thermostat, it may indicate a problem with the heating element or distribution system.
  • Unusual Noises: Strange sounds such as banging, clanging, or whining coming from the furnace could be signs of mechanical issues or loose components that need attention.
  • Frequent Cycling: If the furnace turns on and off more frequently than usual, it might be struggling to maintain a consistent temperature, potentially due to a faulty thermostat, sensor, or other internal component.
  • Pilot Light Issues: A malfunctioning pilot light, such as a flickering or yellow flame instead of a steady blue one, could signify problems with the ignition system, thermocouple, or gas supply.
  • Increased Energy Bills: A sudden and unexplained spike in your heating bills could indicate reduced efficiency, possibly due to issues like a clogged filter, worn-out parts, or an aging furnace.

While a furnace can be repaired in many cases, there are times when it’s best to completely replace it instead.

Signs You Should Replace Your Furnace

If you’ve had your furnace for over 15 years and it continually has problems, it’s likely time to consider a full replacement. While replacing a furnace does come with an extra expense, it is worth it in the long run as you’ll save money on your energy bills and feel more comfortable in your home.

Here are a few signs you need a furnace replacement:

  • Age of the Furnace: If your furnace is more than 15 to 20 years old, it may be reaching the end of its lifespan, and replacement could be a more cost-effective and energy-efficient option.
  • Frequent Repairs: If you have had numerous repairs on your unit and the costs are adding up, it may be more economical to invest in a new furnace rather than continuing to patch up an old and potentially inefficient system.
  • Visible Rust or Cracks: Physical damage to the furnace, such as rust or cracks, can compromise its structural integrity and safety. If you notice such issues, it’s a strong indicator that replacement is necessary.

Aside from the energy and money savings in the long term and making your family more comfortable, you will also be keeping your family safer and healthier with a new furnace. Older heating units waste energy and can also develop leaks over time that can allow dangerous and unhealthful conditions, such as the build-up of carbon monoxide or humidity, causing mold within the walls.

Tips to Extend the Lifespan of Your Furnace

If your furnace is fairly new, one of the best things you can do to extend the lifespan of the unit is to have routine maintenance performed. This will ensure that any small problems are caught before they become too dangerous or expensive to fix.

You will also have a clean, well-tuned system that will run efficiently and reliably through the winter season, eliminating the need for any emergency repair visits. Maintenance is the best way to avoid the need to repair or replace your system early, allowing you to get the most out of your original investment.

Extend your furnace’s lifespan by allowing our HVAC technicians at Home Comfort Experts to regularly maintain your unit. When your system is reaching the end of its lifespan, we will carefully examine your furnace and determine whether it needs to be replaced or repaired.

Trust that we will help you receive the most cost-effective solution and stay warm all winter long. Contact us today if you need furnace repairs or installations in Northern Indiana and Southwestern Michigan.

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