Some homeowners take pride in their ability to keep an old furnace running for years and years-even if doing so requires frequent repairs and calls to an emergency HVAC company. But while you may be able to keep that old furnace limping along indefinitely with the right parts and a good repair person, this is not usually the best choice. Here’s a look at some possible problems keeping old furnaces can cause and benefits of replacing aging, frequently failing furnaces rather than continuing to patch them together.
Parts May Not Be Available
Furnace companies eventually stop manufacturing parts for certain models as they figure few homeowners still own those furnaces. If you continue allowing your old furnace to break down, it’s only a matter of time before a part breaks and your HVAC technician is no longer able to order a replacement. While you may be able to find obsolete parts on online auction sites, using these sites is always a gamble, and you may be forced to go without heat while searching for rare parts.
Repair Bills Can Add Up
A single $200 or $300 repair bill may not seem too bad in comparison to the cost of a new furnace. But when you have to call your HVAC company every month or even once a season, these repair bills can add up. Once your furnace starts breaking down frequently, this trend is not going to improve; you’re almost guaranteed to need future repairs until you give in and replace it. Seeking a replacement furnace sooner rather than later is likely to save you money in the long run.
New Furnaces Come With a Warranty
Saving for unexpected repair costs can be challenging when an extra call to the HVAC technician can break your budget for the month. However, once you cover the cost of a replacement furnace, you should not have to worry about any unexpected repair costs for several years. If your new furnace does malfunction, repairs will typically be covered under warranty.
Warranties vary by manufacturer, but it’s not uncommon for brands to offer up to a 10-year limited warranty on main components. The heat exchanger, which is the component that actually heats the air, is often covered by a 20-year warranty.
New Models Are More Energy Efficient
Another major money saving fact is that today’s furnaces are much more efficient than older models. Energy Star, a program run by the U.S. Department of Energy, recommends replacing your furnace if it is more than 15 years old. An Energy Star qualified furnace is, on average, 15% more efficient than an old, outdated model. This could lead to significantly lower heating bills after you replace your aging furnace.
When your HVAC technician installs your new furnace, they will also look over your ducts to ensure they are well sealed and properly installed. A few quick changes to your ductwork to better accommodate your new furnace may lead to even greater energy savings.
Furnace Malfunctions Can Be Dangerous
Sometimes having your furnace fail can be little more than an inconvenience. However, there are some situations in which going without heat can actually be dangerous.
If your furnace fails during a cold spell, your pipes may freeze and burst and then flood your home. If the furnace happens to fail while you’re out of town, you may similarly end up with burst pipes, sick pets, or even a dangerous gas leak. It’s safer to replace your aging furnace with a new, reliable one than to cross your fingers and hope nothing bad happens the next time your old furnace breaks down.
Don’t keep gambling on an aging furnace that keeps requiring repairs. Contact an HVAC company to get an estimate for a replacement furnace. Your life will be much simpler and safer, and your energy bills are almost certain to decrease.