Is it time to replace your furnace? The heating system in a home generally has the longest expected service life of any major household system. However, at some point, continuing to operate a furnace that’s approaching the end is no longer financially feasible and upgrading now is the best option. Here are four considerations to include in the decision-making process to replace your furnace.
How old is the unit?
Gas-fired furnaces typically last at least 15 years and many are still on the job at 20 years. However, these figures assume regular annual maintenance that supports full service life. If the furnace was already installed when you bought the home, quality of maintenance by previous owners may be an unknown.
Does it need expensive repairs?
Certain costly component failures can be a deal-breaker when it comes to repairing an aging furnace versus upgrading to a new unit now. Chief among these is the furnace heat exchanger, a vital safety component critical to proper heating, as well. If the furnace is over 10 years old, the expense of replacing a cracked or corroded heat exchanger is seldom worth it and upgrading now is usually the best alternative.
How efficient is it?
Furnace efficiency is expressed by AFUE rating. The higher the AFUE percentage, means greater energy efficiency and lower monthly operating costs will be. Today’s standard efficiency furnaces offer an 80% AFUE while high-efficiency models range as high as 95%. If your furnace is twenty years old, AFUE may be down around 65%. This means it’s using substantially more energy than today’s standard units. Upgrading now can reduce operating costs from day one.
Are other improvements required?
To provide optimum heating performance and energy efficiency, all elements of the heating system must be fully functional. Connecting a new furnace to aging, leaky ductwork that needs sealing, for example, will not deliver the lower operating costs and consistent heating performance you expect for your investment. A home energy evaluation is recommended to determine if other improvements are advisable.
For professional advice about deciding to replace your furnace, contact Detmer and Sons.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Dayton, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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