Eventually, all furnaces reach the end of their useful lifespans, or simply lose efficiency as they age. Sometimes, repairs can add up, costing far more than the furnace is worth. All these factors can mean it’s time for a new furnace.

But at other times, it’s difficult to tell whether you can wait a little while longer before doing a full replacement. In the Decatur, AL area and beyond, replacing a furnace can also mean adjusting your ductwork to fit the new furnace, or upgrading your air conditioning system as well. This is because many older models are no longer sold or installed, necessitating a newer, more efficient model.

How do you know if you should repair or replace your furnace?

If You’re Making Small Repairs and Keeping Up on Maintenance. If you find yourself making an occasional small repair, and your furnace seems to be running okay without a huge jump in your energy bill, you may be able to get away with keeping your furnace a little bit longer. Some models can run for longer than others, and oil furnaces tend to last the longest out of all furnace types.

Furnaces last for 15 to 20 years on average, but it’s possible to get a furnace to last even longer if you perform regular maintenance, such as changing your filters and having yearly cleanings. If your system is still going strong, you can likely put off a replacement.

Small repairs include those things such as replacing old thermostats and thermocouples. An occasional expense such as this is generally no cause for concern.

If Larger Repairs are Breaking Your Pocketbook. Larger furnace repairs include things such as blower motors, furnace motors, and heat exchangers. These repairs can cost over four figures. Unless your furnace is still on warranty, these repairs could indicate that you’d be better off getting a new furnace.

Generally, you’ll want to think about replacement if a repair runs up to over half what your furnace would cost to simply replace. For a much older furnace near the end of its life, consider replacement if that cost is over a third of what replacement would be.

If You Need to Lower Your Energy Bill. Sudden spikes in your energy bill may be solved with a relatively minor repair, or it could mean your furnace is on its way out. Investing in a more energy-efficient model can help to lower the energy bills, making your new furnace pay for itself in a just a few years.

Carbon Monoxide Leaks. No one wants carbon monoxide poisoning or worse. Furnaces at the end of their lives can sometimes leak this insidious gas, especially if a heat exchanger cracks. This can mean that you’ll need a new furnace much sooner rather than later. The good news is that regular inspections can catch this problem early, and carbon monoxide detectors can find a problem before poisoning has a chance to occur.

You Want to Add Value to Your Home. A new furnace is a great way to add value to your home if you’re going to sell within the next five years or so. Many buyers will first ask about the age of your home’s furnace, and a new unit will make your home more attractive to buyers.

If you are still unsure of whether you need a new furnace, reach out to us at Southeastern Mechanical Services in the Decatur, AL area today. We can answer your HVAC-related questions and help you make the right decision regarding your furnace.