Repair or Replace? What to Do With Your Furnace

Furnaces can last a really long time—anywhere between 18 to 20 years if they're maintained regularly and repairs are done promptly. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that they'll last forever; indeed, many furnaces will start to show signs of disrepair around the halfway point of their life expectancy. When that happens, you'll be faced with the decision of whether or not to schedule another furnace repair on your unit, or simply have the whole thing replaced altogether.

But which one should you choose? Furnaces can cost thousands of dollars, which means deciding to spring for a new furnace installation can be a huge investment. If you're having difficulty deciding between the two options, below are a few questions you can ask yourself to help make the decision.

How Old Is Your Furnace?

As mentioned above, furnaces can last a while before they need to be replaced, but once they get the 10-year mark, the repairs will become more frequent and the type repairs that need to be performed are more severe. An older furnace, for instance, may have a motor that will eventually blow, or a fan blade that has become dislodged. While you certainly can schedule furnace repairs to patch up these issues, a new furnace installation will give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you have a brand-new unit inside your house that will theoretically be free from defects. In reality, if your furnace is more than 10 years old, you'll end up replacing it piece by piece over the next several years anyways, so you might as well get a new unit instead.

How Much Are the Repairs?

If your furnace isn't old, but you're starting to notice that the repair calls are getting more frequent, it's a good idea to add up the cost of those repairs and see what the total is. Financially speaking, if it totals up to more than 50% of the cost of a brand-new furnace installation, you should consider just replacing it instead. Installing a new furnace will bring along with it a warranty that will protect you from any repairs for several years.

Do You Want to Upgrade?

Most homeowners don't think about upgrading their furnace, but newer models are much more energy-efficient and can deliver cleaner air that older units can't. Not only that but if you're planning on moving in the next few years and you have a furnace that is several years old already, you may have trouble selling your home when an inspector notices that several issues are wrong with it. You can learn more about which direction to take by contacting HVAC contractors who can handle furnace repairs and installations.