Repair Or Replace: What To Do With Your Furnace

Posted on: 25 November 2020

Making the decision to replace your furnace is never easy, and in many cases, the homeowner will often look for ways that they can simply have a repair performed instead. While your technician won't do any work on your home without your approval, at some point, they will strongly suggest looking for a replacement heating system, either because yours is too old, or because it has too many issues with it.

If that's the case, which one should you choose? Should you schedule another heating repair, or look for a brand-new heating replacement instead? Below are a few questions you can ask yourself to help make the right choice between heating repair and heating replacement.

How Old is Your Heating System?

Depending on the make and model of your heating system, the lifespan of your unit can be anywhere from 15 to even 50 years. Geothermal heat pumps are usually last the longest, while central furnaces usually start to fail after about 15 years. If your system is at the halfway point of its lifespan, then you'll notice that the repairs will start to become more frequent and more severe, resulting in more expensive repair calls. At this point, it becomes more financially advantageous to simply have heating replacement performed instead, especially since you'll most likely be paying for regular repairs until you have a new system installed anyway. Still, it's always a good idea to talk to your HVAC contractor to get a professional opinion.

How Expensive Are the Repairs?

Some repairs are relatively inexpensive, while others can set you back a few thousand dollars. A motor that is blown or a heating element that needs to be replaced is a pretty significant repair bill, while simply cleaning the fan blades is relatively minor. You should not only examine how much the individual repairs are but also how much you've paid in total for repairs. Pull out the bills from the last few years and add them up. If they cost more than 50% of the price of a new unit, it makes sense to have the system replaced entirely. Not only will you have peace of mind that comes from a fully operating system, but also a warranty that will protect you from any repairs in the near future.

Do You Want to Upgrade?

While a lot of heating replacements are done out of necessity, others are done voluntarily by the homeowner because they simply want to upgrade their unit. Today's models are much more energy-efficient than they used to be even 10 years ago, which can save you significantly on utility bills down the road. Still, if you are planning on selling your home in the near future, you may also want to upgrade your HVAC system now to take advantage of it before passing the keys on to somebody else. If you know that an inspector will flag several issues with your unit before you can sell your home, it might be worth it to replace it before that time comes.