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Your Furnace Is Working for Now: Why and When You Might Want to Replace It

Published on: February 10, 2014

If your furnace is still working, you may be wondering why you would even consider replacing it. After all, a new furnace is a hefty investment. However, if the timing is right, you should start saving for that investment now to reap the benefits of a new, high-efficiency system sooner rather than later. Here’s the why and when of making the most out of your furnace replacement.

Why?

What benefits can you stand to gain from replacing your functional furnace before it completely gives out?

  • Keep your utility bills in check: Your 15-year-old furnace is probably rated at 70 percent Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) or less, meaning only 70 percent of the fuel that goes into the system is combusted into usable heat for your home. Today, furnaces can achieve near-total efficiency with ratings at 90 percent AFUE or higher. If you replace your 70 percent AFUE furnace with a 96 percent AFUE model, you can expect substantially lower energy bills right away. These energy savings will help the furnace pay for itself over the coming years.
  • Regain capacity: As a furnace ages, it loses its ability to heat the way it once did. If you compare utility bills from years ago to those from this winter, the increasing cost of fuel may not be the only thing to blame for higher bills in recent years. Your aging furnace is undoubtedly failing to perform even close to its AFUE rating, meaning you pay more to keep your home comfortable.
  • Enjoy the benefits of a properly sized furnace: It was once a common practice to purposely oversize furnaces. While this ensured comfort no matter how far the temperature dropped outside, this practice raised the required investment for buying a new furnace as well as operational costs. Work with a knowledgeable contractor who can size your new equipment properly for the best results.
  • Increase your family’s comfort: Failure of your furnace to keep up with demand could leave you feeling chilled when the temperature drops outside. A new, properly sized furnace with a higher efficiency rating is sure to result in better comfort than you have experienced in recent winters.
  • Enjoy home resale advantages: While adding a new furnace is unlikely to directly increase home value, replacing your outdated unit puts you in a stronger selling position. It’s just one more reason for buyers to prefer your home over others in the area. Attracting buyers with a brand new furnace can lead to a quicker sale, possibility with fewer price negotiations.

When?

If these reasons to replace your furnace sound appealing, now you need to figure out the ideal timing. Here’s how to know when it’s time to replace the furnace:

  • Age: A well-maintained furnace can serve you for nearly two decades. If your furnace is nearing 15 or 20 years old, it could be time to upgrade it to enjoy the benefits listed above.
  • Safety concerns: Gas furnaces produce carbon monoxide as a byproduct of incomplete combustion. Under normal circumstances, this deadly gas is vented outside where it’s quickly dispersed. If you’re nursing an outdated unit with questionable venting safety, an upgrade could improve your peace of mind and ensure your family’s safety.
  • Home comfort problems: Older systems or malfunctioning equipment could cause some rooms to get too warm while others never get warm enough. More advanced equipment and perhaps a ductwork adjustment can do away with these comfort problems.
  • High upkeep costs: More frequent repairs indicate that equipment failure could be in the near future. Instead of pouring money into repairing an aging unit, put that money toward a replacement.
  • Other signs of imminent breakdown: Odd smells or unusual noises could mean something is very wrong. A repair might get the equipment up and running again, but if the cost is too high, these issues could signal the beginning of the end.
  • Upcoming move: Because of the home resale advantages of upgrading your furnace, you might consider it alongside a roof replacement and deck addition as you prepare to put your home on the market. These upgrades could be just what you need to speed up the selling process.

Now that you understand the why and when of furnace replacement, you may realize that now’s the time to pursue a purchase and installation from a reputable HVAC contractor. Contact us today to find a contractor in your part of the Southeast U.S. and enjoy the benefits of a new furnace sooner rather than later.