Furnace Repair vs Replacement
Winter is fast approaching, and if your furnace isn’t functioning like it used to, or has stopped working altogether, you may be apprehensive about repairing your existing system vs replacing it with a new one.
While most of us would rather spend the money on a repair vs a replacement, it’s not always in your best interest to do so. Below, we’ll walk you through some benefits of each, and explain ways to help you determine whether furnace repair or replacement is best for you.
Benefits of Replacement:
- Substantial Cost Savings– If your system (furnace / AC) is more than 10 years old and repair costs are approaching 50% of the value of the system, a great deal of energy can be saved by upgrading to a newer, more efficient system. Depending on the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), upgrading could save you 20% to 40% on heating and cooling costs. According to Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings, which measure furnace efficiency, systems from the 1970’s offer AFUE ratings of about 65%, while today’s models offer near total efficiency: 97%. That adds up to a lot of energy dollars.
- Tax Incentives– In addition to energy savings that add up over the lifetime of your new system, available tax credits and incentives could save you up to 30% of the cost of newer, high-efficiency systems. Look for the ENERGY STAR label for your best options when considering repair vs. replacement.
- Warranty– Newer units come with a warranty, which helps you save on repair costs should any issues arise.
- Green Benefits– The U.S. Government and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have mandated the phase-out of R-22 refrigerant by 2020 in an effort to protect the ozone. Upgrading to an R-410A system not only helps the environment, but also helps you avoid the high costs of repairing an older system as supplies of R-22 are further cut each year due to the phase-out.
- Comfort & Air Quality– Newer systems do a better job of controlling temperature and humidity, which reduces mold and mildew growth, improving both comfort and air quality in your home.
- Convenience– No more waiting around in an uncomfortable home for repair services or hard-to-find parts for your old system.
Benefits of Furnace Repair:
Here’s how to tell if repair, as opposed to replacement, is the right route:
- Newer Systems– For new or relatively new systems, it is likely that repairs make the most financial sense.
- The 50% Rule– If the cost of repair vs. replacement of your system is less than half of its value and you haven’t been suffering the need for monthly service calls to keep your system up and running, repair may be easier on your checkbook.
- Moving– If you are planning on moving out of your current home in the immediate future and your system is still working, talk to your local real estate agent to determine whether either repair or replacement would be in your best interest. We have quite a few customers who are looking to sell their home but suddenly have to invest in a new furnace and / or AC before their home goes on the market.
- Maintenance– If your system is sitting on the fence—neither old nor new—some simple maintenance techniques may help prolong its lifespan and make immediate replacement unnecessary. Ask your technician if this is in your best interest, and if so, what you can do to get a few more miles out of your existing system. Keep in mind that a system that is 8-10 years old but that hasn’t been taken care of properly will not last like a system that has been maintained well.
Recognizing which is better for you – repair or replacement
- Age– When it comes to repair vs. replacement, the EPA and Department of Energy’s joint ENERGY STAR program recommend systems older than 10 years old and furnaces or boilers older than 15 years old be replaced. Though these systems may last a few years longer, they will increasingly lose energy efficiency over time, costing you energy dollars.
- Frequent Breakdowns– If your system can’t handle the demands on its performance during the hottest and coldest times of the year, or has broken down multiple times over the past several years, repairs may not be in your best interest. In some cases they can add up substantially over time, costing you more than investing in a new system.
- Uneven Temperatures– Uneven temperatures are an indicator of a possible need for a heating and cooling upgrade.
- Noise– If your system has to overexert itself to keep up with the heating and cooling demands of your home, it can become excessively noisy or turn off randomly. Establish and maintain a regular maintenance schedule to preserve the function of your system, including annual professional maintenance to prevent problems before they occur.
If you are needing furnace repair and want to talk through the options of replacement vs repair, Rol Air technicians are here to help. Simply call us at 763-250-5361 or visit us at www.rolairrepair.com