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When Should I Repair vs. Replace My Furnace?

Updated for 2018

repair-vs-replace-my-furnaceYour furnace has broken down, and you’ve called us. Now you’re just waiting to feel the heat again. But as you wait, you start to think about all the furnace repairs that have come before, and how long you’ve had this same furnace. And you ask yourself: is it time to replace my furnace?

It’s easy to lose track of how long you’ve had a furnace, or how many times you’ve had it repaired. But it’s important to know when to repair vs. replace.

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When Should You Repair Your Furnace?

Give your furnace a little love with annual maintenance, and it will love you back by staying as efficient and problem-free as possible. But even the best furnace will need some repairs from time to time.

As your furnace ages, it depreciates in value – kind of like a car. And you don’t want to put thousands of dollars into a car if it’s not going to improve in value, just like you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a furnace repair when you could get a new one that works much better.

The chart below demonstrates, on average, the reasonable cost for repairs based on the age of your furnace.

If the repair costs you’ve been quoted are in the red zone, you should consider a replacement instead:


Is It Time to Replace My Furnace?

The following factors are the biggest things to consider when deliberating on the repair vs. replace debate. If you answer yes to any of these questions, it’s time to consider an upgrade.

1. Is My Furnace of A Certain Age?

This is the biggest indicator that it’s time to replace your furnace. While in most cases there’s some flexibility with age, in the case of your furnace, you need to be firm. Once it reaches the ripe old age of 10, it’s time to start thinking about retirement. Furnaces, particularly the older models, can last approximately 15 years – or sometimes more – with the proper care.

To check the age of your furnace, simply look at the installation label – it will have both the date of installation and the date it was manufactured. If you’re having trouble finding it, write down the serial number and get in touch with us or the manufacturer. We’ll help you figure out if your furnace is over the hill and needs to be replaced.

2. Does My Furnace Require Frequent, Costly Repairs?

A repair every once in awhile besides your annual maintenance is expected, especially as a furnace ages. But are you calling us every few months because your furnace isn’t working? If so you’re throwing your money away.

Constant repairs add up, and they signal that something is not right with your furnace. It could even be unsafe, leading to deadly consequences if it’s not fixed or replaced.

If your repair bills are sky high (see chart above), talk to one of our technicians and get a professional evaluation. A new furnace may be the solution to staying safe and keeping your overall costs down.

3. Is It Costing You a Lot of Money for Only a Little Heat?

Speaking of keeping overall costs down: are you noticing your energy bill gets a little higher with each passing year, but your home doesn’t get any warmer? It could even be happening each passing month!

Older furnaces often lose efficiency as they age, especially if they haven’t been getting annual maintenance. With wear and tear, some parts stop working the way they should, and can put more strain on others nearby. New furnace models are much more efficient now, which means it requires less money to stay warm.

Not only will a new furnace save you money on your energy bill, but because they’re now so much smaller, they might actually save you some square footage in your basement.

Do you have more questions about your furnace? We have more answers >

4. Is Your Home’s Air Dry and Stuffy?

An old furnace can still soldier on and provide heat, but it’s never going to be as good as it once was. That means that built-in features like filtration and any humidity control it had are slowly going to dwindle away, until it’s just blowing around hot, dry air that gives you a stuffy nose.

Replacing your old furnace is an excellent time to look at upgrading your home air quality system. A whole-home humidifier will eliminate the negative effects of dry air in the winter, or add an air purifier and filtration device to help you breathe easier.

There Are Rebates That Can Make a New Furnace Much More Affordable

Many people put off getting a new furnace as long as possible because it’s just too expensive for their budget at the time. But it doesn’t have to be.

At Ottawa Home Services, we not only have flexible financing and rental programs: we also have thousands of dollars worth of rebates available! These rebates reduce the cost of a new furnace, and you get to upgrade to a model that is both eco-friendly and bill-friendly!

Whether It’s a Repair or a Replacement, Call Us

If you need help deciding whether repair vs. replace your furnace, that’s what we’re here for! All you have to do is request a free quote from us.

Our skilled and professional technicians will be able to do a thorough inspection and give you recommendations based on their professional findings.

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