Now that we've had our first freezing cold temperatures of the year, our furnaces are starting to be put to the test. Jerry Kelly is flooded with calls around this time of year with people experiencing problems with their furnaces, and homeowners with older systems are being faced with the decision of whether to make repairs to their furnace or replace it with a new model. Today we're going to help make that decision easier by talking about seven of the most important factors to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace your furnace!
When to replace your furnace: 7 factors consider
- Age of your furnace. A well-maintained furnace should last somewhere around 12-15 years. Once your system hits the 10 year mark, you should start to seriously consider replacing it with a new system, especially if any of the other items in this list suggest that it's time for a replacement.
- Condition of your air conditioner. You might not have expected to see your air conditioner referenced in this list, but the truth is that your furnace and air conditioner share some of the same parts. If you're already considering replacing your air conditioner, you should replace your furnace at the same time so that those parts match up properly.
- Cost and frequency of repairs. Before going through with a repair for your current furnace, consider the cost of making the repair. If the cost is significant and your furnace is already aging, it would make more sense to put that money toward a new furnace instead of wasting it on a system that you'll be replacing soon anyway. In addition, be cautious about making a repair on a furnace that has required a lot of repairs in the recent past. Those costs can quickly add up, and it would be better to invest in a system you can depend on.
- Home comfort levels. Is your furnace heating your home as effectively as it used to? Once a furnace reaches its "golden years," its performance levels begin to suffer even if it is well-maintained. A new furnace will make your home much more comfortable.
- Cost of heating bills. Compare your heating bills over the past few years. Have they been on a steady incline? This could be a sign that your system is becoming less efficient. Installing a new and high-efficiency furnace will greatly reduce your heating bills.
- AFUE rating of your furnace. Currently, it is required that newly-manufactured furnaces have an AFUE rating of at least 78 percent. If your system's AFUE rating is lower than that, your heating bills are likely much higher than they would be if you installed a higher-efficiency system (not to mention the fact that your system is likely aging if it doesn't meet the current standards).
- Tell-tale signs. Along with the factors above, you should be on the lookout for the tell-tale signs that your furnace is breaking down: noises, smells, rusting and anything else out-of-the ordinary. Signs like these suggest that you'll soon be faced with the decision of whether to repair or replace your system, and you might want to be proactive about a replacement if you already suspect your system's days are numbered.
If you have any questions about when to replace your furnace, or if you'd like a heating system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis area furnace installation and repair contractor. We provide service to the St. Louis area, including towns like Ballwin, Chesterfield and Clarkson Valley, MO.
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