Is It Time To Replace Your Old Furnace? Get Winter Ready!
Winter will be here before you know it – soon you’ll want to stay indoors in the warmth and comfort of your home more than ever. With furnace cranked up at full blast, you’ll love to go on those nonstop Netflix marathons with friends or family and spend quality time at home. To ensure the winter fun goes on uninterruptedly, make sure to inspect your furnace to see if it’s working properly and can get you through the colder months devoid of any glitch. This quick inspection will help you determine if the furnace requires full servicing, minor repair or replacement so that your winter months can be easy and stress-free. Not just the convenience, a properly functioning, high-efficiency furnace will also plummet the energy bills by up to 45%.
So before the winter finally kicks in with its cold, surly winds, make sure to conduct a visual inspection of your furnace. Check the venting pipe to ensure it is securely angled and fastened, along with drainage tubes. Also, look for the signs for gas flex; the smell of rotten eggs forebodes the gas leakage in the furnace.
Here are 3 Key Factors that impact the lifecycle of a furnace and must be kept in mind while ascertaining whether or not the old beast is up to the task, or whether or not you should buy a new, more efficient model:
Has the furnace reached its “retirement” age?
Generally, furnaces have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years, depending on if you had it professionally maintained or not. That means you were consistently getting the filters changed, at least once per season, paying for the annual or semi-annual inspections and personally cleaning the different components such as blower and fan on regular basis. By doing this, your furnace can last even up to 25 years. If that doesn’t sound like you, you may have to replace your furnace earlier than it should be.
Is it worth to pay for fixes?
Repair is always a cost-effective choice – a broken fan will cost you approx $650 to replace, whereas a new furnace can cost somewhere around $5,000 to install. Just like an old car, it’s important to factor in all the future and current repair expenses to decide if it’s the right time to bid adieu to the old unit.
But, how to figure out when to retire the old unit and when to pay for the fixes? This is where the visual inspection which we discussed earlier comes into play and helps you see if the furnace is struggling to perform at its peak capacity. For example, if you observe a significant temperature deviation in different rooms (not due to insulation issues), it could herald furnace problems. The frequency of your furnace turning off and on is another notable sign. If the cycles are becoming more recurrent with each year, it could mean the furnace is struggling hard to maintain a consistent temperature in the house, which implies the unit is aging. An irritating hum noise, with excessive dust on the furniture indicates your furnace is pumping out the dust and requires immediate repair work – another sign of a problematic unit.
Now, combine all these costs as well as potential fixes and you’ll see yourself spending more than $1000 on your furnace in a few years – more than 20% of a newer, high-efficiency unit.
Don’t overlook the energy savings!
If your heating bills skyrocket during the winter season, it might be due to the horrible energy efficiency of your furnace. With that in mind, make sure to evaluate the cost to keep the current unit versus the savings you’ll have with a new model. The latest Energy Star furnace units come with AFUE rating (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) – which represents how much gas the unit utilizes to heat your home. It is represented in a percentage. For example, an AFUE of 80% means the furnace uses 80% of the fuel for the heating and the rest goes up the flue pipe wasted. This means for every dollar used to heat your home, 20 cents will be wasted. So, when you are upgrading from a 60% AFUE furnace to the 90% unit, the energy savings will be substantial and easily outweigh the cost of purchasing a new furnace.
It’s important to consider all these factors together as none of them alone can help you decide if the furnace requires replacement. Also, keep an eye on the pertinent rebates and promotions to save some money.
Still unsure whether or not to replace the old furnace?
Constant Home Comfort team is here to assist you in getting ready for your battle against the cold temperature of winter. Contact us for a quote!