Should I Repair or Replace My Furnace?

December 29, 2014

If the temperature outside is chilly, the condition of your home’s furnace is obviously critical to your comfort. If you’re experiencing furnace difficulties, you may be wondering whether it’s in your best interests to repair or replace your furnace. There are multiple factors that will help you resolve which option is best for you. Your Elkhart area HVAC professional can help you assess your needs and your struggling HVAC system to determine whether furnace repair or replacement is the ideal short- and long-term answer for your Elkhart home.

When Repair Is Best

In most cases, furnace issues can be easily sourced and repaired by a NATE-certified, HVAC professional. If your furnace is new—i.e., less than 10 years of system life — odds are highly likely that any issues it experiences can be solved through repair. On top of that, if your furnace is still heating your Elkhart area home efficiently (your HVAC professional can help you verify this), then it is still in your best interest to repair it. Commonly, as long as you are not seeing a steady increase in your heating bills with continual usage and your home is not having issues with uneven heating, your furnace is functioning efficiently. A good general rule of thumb regarding furnace repairs is that assuming the repairs you need are less than one-third of the investment of a new heating system and your furnace is in the first half of its expected lifetime, repair is likely your best option. Keep in mind that even if you are experiencing a reduction in heating efficiency, there are other routes you can explore before considering replacing your furnace. Talk to your HVAC technician about upgrading your thermostat or checking the integrity of your Elkhart home’s ductwork to see if he thinks these enhancement could improve the efficiency of your furnace. Talk to BW/Cook Service Experts about scheduling regular furnace maintenance, which will ensure your furnace is in top condition and help you prevent further repairs or drops in efficiency.

When Replacement Is Best

Eventually, repair will not be able to affordably resolve your issues. The anticipated lifetime of most furnaces is 15-20 years; after which, the heating system will begin to fail more and more often. Therefore, if your furnace is approaching or past 15 years old, it is time to think about replacement. Irregardless of equipment age, if you’ve been calling your HVAC service provider for repairs too often, this could also be a sign that your furnace is beyond help and requires a replacement. Although repairs may seem like a simple fix, if they aren’t keeping your furnace operating for years at a time, these frequent smaller charges ultimately cost you more money. There are a variety of things that may determine whether replacement is best for you including the quality of your original furnace installation and the capacity of your furnace. A furnace is only as good as its installation, making proper installation essential. Also, your furnace may be struggling if it’s not sized according to specs for your Elkhart home size or heating needs. If your furnace isn’t sized or installed properly, you should consider replacing the system and starting anew, rather than continually addressing breakdowns and poor function.

If you have questions about whether repair or replacement of your Elkhart home’s heating system is right for you, contact BW/Cook Service Experts today.