Repair Or Replace? Tips To Decide How To Deal With An Older Or Troublesome Furnace

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Every homeowner dreads the day when they find themselves dealing with a heating system problem that they know will be expensive to address. If the furnace is an older one or one that has seemed plagued with problems in the past, homeowners may wonder whether their money will be best spent on another round of repairs or whether they should install a new heating system, instead. 

Homeowners who find themselves in this situation can use the following tips to help them determine which choice is the optimal one for their situation. 

Age and efficiency

Two of the most important factors involved in choosing between repairing and replacing any furnace is age and efficiency. If the current heating system is near the end of its life span or it is responsible for uncomfortably high utility bills, then replacing the system with a new, high-efficiency system should be considered. 

Homeowners can compare the efficiency rating of their current system with the estimated efficiency rating of new models to determine if the amount of projected energy savings, plus fewer repair costs would help to offset the cost of replacement. 

Size and type

Two additional reasons involved in a homeowner's decision to repair or replace an older or troublesome heating system are the size and type of the current system. In situations where the current system is known to be improperly sized for the amount of square footage it serves, opting to install a new heating system is an obvious choice. 

Homes that have an improperly sized heating system often experience humidity and condensation issues, uneven heating throughout the home, inefficient energy usage, and frequent repair issues. 

Homeowners who would prefer to have their heat sourced from a different fuel type, such as moving from a gas or oil furnace to an electric one or vice versa, may also find that replacement is a better fit than repair. 

Budget and future plans

Finally, homeowners must also consider their budget and future plans when considering whether to purchase and install a new heating system or repair their current one. If the household budget cannot cover the entire cost of a new furnace, homeowners may be able to find affordable payment plans or rebates to help reduce out-of-pocket costs. If the budget is very tight, opting to repair and continue using the existing furnace should be considered. 

Homeowners will also want to consider their future plans before deciding how to proceed. If the home will be sold in the next year or two, homeowners will need to determine whether the projected selling price would be enough to offset the cost of a new furnace or whether opting to repair the existing one might be the better decision. 

Before making a final decision on furnace repair or replacement, homeowners should discuss their situation with a local HVAC contractor to get more detailed information.