Like anything else in your home, a furnace has a limited lifespan and will need to be replaced at some point. Typically, a furnace will last for about 20 years before it won’t be able to do its job effectively. However, it’s possible that the one in your home will last longer than that if it was properly installed and maintained. There are several questions that you should ask yourself when deciding if you’re better off repairing or replacing an aging heating system.
Are You Dealing With a Major Issue?
The scope of the problem is a key issue that you’ll need to consider when deciding whether to fix the primary issue or simply get a new furnace. For example, if you simply need to replace the ignitor, you can feel confident that doing so is an effective use of your time and money.
The same might be true if there is an issue caused by a clogged air filter or some other easy and inexpensive item to change out. However, if you are dealing with a major repair such as replacing a circuit board or a blower motor, you might want to consider a new furnace. In addition to the cost of the part, you may pay more for labor as it may be necessary to take out other parts or perform other tasks just to get to the item that needs to be fixed.
How Often Are You Making Repairs?
If you are making minor repairs on a regular basis, you may also want to think about buying a new furnace. This is because the hundreds of dollars that you’re spending every few months may be better spent on something that won’t require as much maintenance. Furthermore, you may be able to save money on your heating bills, which can further defray any upfront costs associated with a new heating system.
The folks at Temp Air System Inc. in Los Angeles County can inspect your furnace and discuss any long-term issues you might face by repairing instead of replacing it. Our team can also install a new furnace and provide routine maintenance after the fact. We can also talk more about heat pumps and how they might help save money and keep your home comfortable throughout the year.
What Can You Afford?
Your budget will likely be a major consideration when choosing whether to repair or replace your aging furnace. Although you may feel like you can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on a replacement system, there may be a number of options to help you fit that figure into your budget.
First, you may be able to put the cost of your new furnace on a credit card or obtain a personal loan to give you more time to pay. You may also be able to borrow against the equity in your home to cover the cost of a new furnace. Finally, you may be able to obtain tax credits, grants or other forms of government assistance to ensure that your home is safe and comfortable to live in.
It’s also important to note the other indirect costs associated with an older furnace. Those costs typically include the fact that your home is more expensive to heat compared to a new unit as newer units tend to have higher SEER ratings. Furthermore, if you are planning on selling your house in the near future, a home with an older furnace may go for less than one that has a new unit installed.
You May Want to Learn More Anyway
Even if you decide that you are not going to replace your furnace today, you may still want to start learning more about your options. This enables you to shop around for the best price and the best product that fits your home and budget. It also gives you time to look into various government or manufacturer incentives that might be available to you. Finally, it may reduce the odds that your furnace goes out without warning and requires you to obtain emergency service. In many cases, emergency repairs cost more than a typical installation, which could further strain your budget.
You’re Only Delaying the Inevitable
At some point, your furnace is going to reach the end of its useful life and stop working regardless of what you do for it. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to make minor repairs now while planning to replace your furnace in the next year or so. Although there is no guarantee as to how long a repair will extend the life of a heating system, you will likely get a few months of reliable service.
Therefore, making a repair today can be considered a stopgap measure that leads into a full replacement at some point prior to the next fall or winter season. One of the potential benefits of this strategy is that you’ll be able to schedule an installation appointment long before you need to heat your home, which will make the process easier.
New Units Often Come With Warranties
If your current furnace was installed more than a decade ago, it’s unlikely that it is protected by a warranty or other guarantees. An exception may be for any guarantees made by an HVAC company that repaired or replaced certain parts. However, if you buy a new furnace, it will likely come with a warranty that protects you against the cost of repairs within the next few years.
Furthermore, you may be more likely to stick to a maintenance schedule as failing to do so could void some or all of the warranty. Ultimately, your home will be more comfortable because your furnace will work properly throughout the year. Your home’s indoor air quality will also likely improve if your furnace is being cleaned on at least an annual basis.
Parts May Be Harder to Find for Older Units
As technology evolves over time, parts that were once vital to the operation of an HVAC component may become obsolete. If this is true for your furnace, it may be difficult to find a contractor that has the parts needed to properly repair your existing heating system. Ultimately, you may have no choice but to hope that a universal part designed to work with multiple furnaces does its job or to simply get a new furnace. In the event that a part can be found that fits your older unit, you may be charged more if it is difficult to source.
If you need to repair or replace your furnace in an affordable and timely manner, don’t hesitate to contact Temp Air System Inc. today! We can also help with other tasks such as air conditioner repair or an indoor air quality assessment. In addition, we will be happy to clean your home’s air ducts or address any electrical issues that need to be resolved.