To repair vs. installing a new furnace … that is the question. And it’s a question that most homeowners only start wondering about when they’re facing a costly furnace repair, such as replacing a blower motor.
There is no easy answer; the decision will vary with each individual situation. However, the following factors will help you make the right decision for your home.
Cost to Repair vs Replace Furnace
When your furnace is still under warranty, it’s a no-brainer. Get it fixed. Not sure if your warranty is still valid? Ask your home’s builder or the previous owner. It is also possible to check with the furnace manufacturer.
If the warranty has expired, look at your quote for furnace repair. Is it close to $1,000? That’s pretty steep, especially if this repair is likely to be followed by more in the near future. Consider checking out new furnace prices so you have an accurate basis for comparison.
Age of Your Furnace
Take into account the age of your furnace in relation to the cost of repair. Many always ask us, “how long do furnaces last?” During long cold winters in the GTA, furnaces work hard and typically last about 15 years – more if you schedule regular furnace maintenance. However, if your heating system is 10 years old and you’ve just received a hefty quote for repair, replacement might make more sense.
For help figuring out the best action, just look up the age of your furnace vs the cost to repair on the handy chart below.
Your budget is a significant factor, of course. If you can’t afford the cost to replace your furnace right now, you may plan to have it repaired instead.
However, take the time to discuss your options with an HVAC professional here at Husky. We offer fast, affordable financing and we’ll do our best to help you out with any special offers, grants, and rebates that may be currently available, as well.
Increased Heating Bills
Your energy bills will fluctuate depending on the season and outdoor temperature, but you should always be alert to any unusual variations from month to month.
If there is a significant difference between your energy bills from past years to this year, it might be time for a new heating system. If you’ve been using your current furnace as efficiently as you can, and can’t figure out why there’s been an increase in your energy bill, it’s likely due to your old furnace not being able to maintain efficiency.
Increased Furnace Repairs
If your furnace is less than 15 years old, minor repairs might be able to solve the problem. If the repair costs are less than half of the cost of a new furnace purchase, you should go ahead and repair the inefficient parts.
However, as your furnace ages, there will be more and more costly repairs. If your older furnace is at the end of its life expectancy, the replacement cost of buying a new high efficiency furnace will save money in the long run.
The new technologies of the past decade and a half have greatly improved furnace efficiency. An energy-efficient furnace is a worthy investment, especially one certified by Energy Star™. The up-front cost is likely to result in substantial savings on your gas bills, as well as a reduction of your carbon footprint.
To calculate how much you could save, subtract the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of your existing furnace from that of newer models. ( For instance, 95% AFUE – 80% AFUE = 15% lower energy costs.)
IMPORTANT: AFUE ratings measure the potential efficiency of heating systems. Lack of regular maintenance and tuneup may reduce your furnace’s actual performance.
Some natural gas furnace issues are serious safety hazards. A cracked heat exchanger, for example, could be emitting carbon monoxide (CO), a byproduct of fuel combustion, into your home. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious threat, and this colourless, odourless gas is extremely dangerous, killing quickly and quietly.
To protect yourself and your family, install a carbon monoxide alarm within 5 metres of every bedroom, as required by Ontario law.
A replacement heat exchanger is cost-prohibitive. In this case, it actually makes better financial sense to purchase a new furnace.
Does your home have chilly rooms or entire floors that just never seem to warm up, no matter what the thermostat setting may be? The cause behind this unpleasant problem could be an older or incorrectly sized furnace. Furnace replacement will allow you to eliminate that uneven heating and take control of your home comfort.
And if various household members have different temperature preferences, use this opportunity to install a new zone-based heating system.
You may find your furnace is uncomfortably loud. (Use a smartphone app to find out exactly how many decibels it is producing.) This problem is often true of cheap heating systems or older furnaces with components that are slowly, noisily wearing out. If the sound really bothers you, compare the volume of your furnace to the specs for new furnace models. An efficient heating system will offer the quiet and comfort you are looking for.
Indoor air quality has a powerful effect on wellbeing, especially in winter when we spend so much time inside. A less-than-optimal furnace in a well-sealed house can lead to air that is overly dry, stuffy, and full of contaminants.
In the repair vs replace debate, you can improve indoor air quality with an old furnace (maintained properly through its life) with humidifiers, filters, and other air quality equipment.
Furnace replacement provides a golden opportunity to install air quality improvement equipment, which will humidify, filter, and ventilate your indoor air.
Consult with one of our service technicians to discuss your options for improving indoor air quality.
Increase Your Home’s Value
If you’re planning to sell your home soon or in the near future, an old furnace that needs costly repairs might be enough to sway potential buyers away from making an offer. A new furnace, on the other hand, is an attractive feature for any homebuyer.
Rebates and Special Offers
If you’re dealing with plenty of furnace problems and eyeing up a list of expensive repairs, getting a new energy efficient furnace makes sense.
There are some grants available, such as the Canada Greener Homes Initiative, to help incentivize you to replace your furnace with a more energy efficient model.
A grant of up to $5000 will be awarded to homeowners once their energy-efficient retrofits and post-retrofit evaluations have been completed.
At Husky, we’re always looking out for energy efficient systems that will save you money. Check out our rebates and specials page to see if you can start saving on furnace repair or furnace replacement.
Choose Wisely – Husky Can Help
Now you’re armed with the facts. Take a moment to weigh the costs and benefits of furnace repair vs replacement. Then, turn to a Husky service technician for HVAC advice and service you can count on.
Call us at 905-761-9485 or Request A Free Quote