When Should I Replace My Furnace?

Furnace Replacement

Homeowners should expect to replace their furnace every 18 to 20 years. This is considered the average lifetime of most furnaces; although, maintenance may extend the life of some furnaces, and others may not last quite as long. However, cost plays an important role when many people can replace a furnace.

Get an Inspection

Annual furnace inspections can indicate of your furnace needs to be repaired or replaced before the temperatures fall. It's better to replace a furnace before winter hits than to struggle when an aging furnace stops working in the middle of the season. An inspection may indicate that a furnace needs or will soon need a repair or requires replacing. HVAC professionals can give homeowners an estimate for the repairs.

Cost of Repairs

One rule of thumb that homeowners may follow is to replace a furnace whenever the cost of repair would be greater than 50% the price of a new furnace. Costly repairs like this indicate that the furnace is at the end of its life cycle, and repairs are likely to be needed again in the future. Buying a new furnace may save money in the long run. Homeowners who opt out of a new furnace should recognize that the furnace's end of life typically occurs within two years after a large repair.

Another cost that some homeowners fail to take into consideration is the cost of heating their homes. If these costs have increased over the years, it could be a sign that a furnace is no longer running optimally. Maintenance may be able to restore some function of the HVAC system, but it may be more cost-effective to replace the furnace at that point if it reduces heating bills, even if a furnace is not that old.

Your Furnace is Old

Even if the old furnace is working as best as it can, a new furnace may be more efficient and thus more cost-effective. This is measured by an annual fuel utilization efficiency, or AFUE, which compares how much energy the furnace actually turns into heat. Modern heaters can be as much as 98.5% efficient compared to the 56% to 70% AFUE of older heating systems. While some older HVAC systems may be able to be retrofitted with new hardware to become more efficient, an HVAC professional may recommend an entirely new system when comparing costs over time.

Loud Sounds

Finally, loud noises may indicate that your furnace is no longer running efficiently. An inspection can determine if a repair is enough or if you should replace your furnace entirely.

If you suspect that your furnace may need to be repaired or replaced or simply want to inspect it to ensure it will work all winter, contact Ardmore Fresh Air today for more information.

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