Your furnace is old, but is it really time to replace it?
In Fountain Hills and the East Valley, we don’t get a lot of really cold weather. So it’s no surprise that many residents are hesitant to spend money to replace or upgrade a furnace that doesn’t get much use.
And in most situations, we recommend repairing your furnace rather than replacing it (it makes the most financial sense for you.) But there are a few circumstances where you’ll be better off with a new heater.
This is the formula many insurance companies use to determine if a building, vehicle or other damaged, insured product is “totaled.”
It’s pretty simple – if the estimated cost to repair your furnace is 50% or more than the cost of a new furnace, it’s time to cut ties with your heater and look for a new one.
Of course, this 50% ratio is highly simplified. You should also consider the age of your furnace.
The older the furnace, the less you should be willing to spend to repair it. For example, let’s say you have a furnace that would cost $700 to repair or $2000 to replace.
Even though $700 is less than 50% of $2000, it may still make sense to replace it. Furnaces typically last between 15 and 20 years. So, on average, the $700 would give you another 1-5 years, which is $150/year at best (and $700 at worst).
Similarly, if the cost to replace is $2000, that means you’re paying about $100/year. Combined with the energy efficiency benefits of a new furnace, this option will save you the most money.
If you have an older gas furnace, it could have an AFUE as low as 70%. That means 70% of the fuel your furnace consumes is turned into heat while 30% is wasted. New furnaces have an 80% AFUE at minimum with high efficiency furnace having up to 95% AFUE.
When you consider that almost half of your yearly energy bills go to heating and cooling your home, according to ENERGY STAR, that can be a significant savings.
Want to see if a higher efficiency furnace could pay off for you? Check out the energy savings calculator from ENERGY STAR (excel file.)
If you’re the owner of an older gas furnace, you’ve probably already experienced the joy of surprise repairs. If you are sick of worrying about whether or not your furnace will turn on each winter, a new furnace can give you some peace-of-mind.
New furnaces also come with warranties on parts and labor, so there’s no more paying for repairs out of your own pocket.
Of course, it can be difficult to make such a large decision. If you need help or a professional opinion, Fountain Hills Air Conditioning & Heating offers free, in-home estimates. Schedule yours online today.