The furnace—a household necessity and a pain in the wallet. When the furnace stops working, things get expensive. Between repairs and parts, the question eventually arises, “should we repair or replace?”
Every furnace has a shelf life. Even the best-maintained models only last between 15 and 20 years. When determining whether it’s worth your while to call in for repairs, there are a few things to consider.
At James’ Plumbing & Heating, we work with homeowners across Santa Fe for a variety of furnace needs. Here are a few of the things on our furnace checklist we recommend checking over before buying a new model.
How Old Is It Now?
This is an important question because, as we mentioned, after 20 years, your furnace has run its course. If you’ve got a furnace aged 15 or older, replacing it is likely going to cost less than repairing it. Why? Because the furnace may not last as long as the new parts you’ve paid for.
You can find the age of your furnace on a sticker located somewhere on the exterior of the unit. The model and serial number are usually on this sticker as well.
Money is a good determining factor in furnace repairs. Depending on your home size and energy efficiency needs, a new furnace could cost anywhere between $3,000 and $7,000. On the flip size, repairs could cost you $350 to $1,200.
When you think about ongoing repair costs for an old or faulty furnace, buying new might be a more affordable option. You pay more all at once, but then you have a new, reliable furnace (and more than likely, a warranty).
Energy Efficiency and Rebate Offers
Depending on where you live, your state or province might offer rebates for energy efficient furnace purchases. Apart from the potential for money back, there’s the bonus of reduced energy bills. That’s a pretty good reason to upgrade to a new unit.
An energy efficient furnace could save you a lot of money over time. Think about it like this: Replacing a furnace running at 75% efficiency with one at 95% efficiency takes a potential 20% off your bill. If you pay $200 a month for heating, it’s a savings of $40 per month or $480 per year.
Poor Air Quality
Air quality in your home is important. It’s what your family breathes day in and day out. The air circulating through your home is controlled, in part, by your HVAC system. Your furnace, for example, blows warm air into your home through air ducts. Any dust and debris in your furnace winds up in your home and lungs.
Of course, furnace filters are there to catch most of this debris and should be swapped out every three months. If changing the filter doesn’t help, it could be a bigger problem than you think.
Tips to Keep Your Furnace in Top Shape
Before you get to the point of no return with your furnace, get proactive. Here are some things you can do to keep your furnace running at max capacity.
- Keep it Clean: Along with regularly changing furnace filters, you should have your furnace cleaned once a year.
- Vacuum Airducts: Before the furnace gets switched on in the winter, clean all registers and air ducts. This keeps air flowing freely.
- Get a Tune Up: Furnace tune ups are another annual maintenance need. You can likely have yours cleaned and tuned up at the same time. This keeps it running efficiently throughout the winter season.
- Don’t Clutter the Furnace: The furnace needs room to breathe (so to speak). Keeping the area around the furnace clear of clutter protects your furnace and your home. Anything pressed up against the furnace runs the risk of igniting. It could also cause the furnace to overheat.
- Use Energy Saving Tactics: Save heat in the winter months when the furnace is used the most. Curtains, carpets, and window insulation are all great hacks to reduce heat loss in the home.
The best thing you can do for your furnace is take care of it. The more proactive maintenance it receives the less problems you’ll encounter.
If you live in Santa Fe and think you might need a new furnace, call us at James’ Plumbing & Heating today. It’s important to us that our clients feel safe and cozy at home. Our team of experienced professionals will help you make furnace decisions to benefit your home and your bank account.