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Furnace Repair or Replacement? What to Consider and Top Mainteance Tips

The colder seasons have arrived and so has the need to heat your place. Your current furnace still functions but just barely, so you’re wondering if it’s times to replace it. Here are a few signs to help make that decision.

  • You've been repairing your furnace a lot. Do you need to have this appliance repaired at the start of every heating season plus one or two times more before summer? Have you been doing this for a few year now? Add how much it's been costing you for repairs all this time and see if that's close to or less than the cost of a new furnace.
  • How old is your current furnace? The average life expectancy for a furnace is about 16-20 year. If your home was built more than 20 years ago, you should begin the process of shopping for a replacement furnace. It is recommended to start looking for a replacement well before your current furnace goes out as having to replace it in an emergency situation might not allow you to make the best decision. If you are unsure of the age of the furnace, start by checking if it has a pilot light, if so, it is almost certain that it is at least 25 years old.
  • Your furnace makes weird noises. A bit of sound when your heater starts up for the first time is normal and shouldn't cause concern. But if you keep hearing banging, rattling, or other weird sounds, your appliance is in its death throes. Don't wait until it finally dies before you take action or you'll be stuck in a cold house.
  • Gas or electric bills keep rising. Look at the cost of your heating bills over time and see if you can spot a rising pattern. As your furnace ages, the efficiency of the furnace and its ability to heat your home dissipates slowly. This is especially true if the home was furnace was not being maintained properly. By proactively replacing your furnace, you could be putting the extra fund being spent on higher electric bills towards the cost of a new furnace instead.
  • The thermostat setting does nothing. You keep fiddling with the thermostat but your home doesn't seem to get any warmer. That's because your furnace is less able to distribute heat efficiently as it gets older. In addition, your appliance may be using up more electricity as its parts begin to wear out. A spike in your heating bill is another bad sign, especially considering that the energy efficiency of modern furnaces can reduce your heating expenses.
Furnace-Maintenance-Infographic Infograph Courtesy of AAA Heating and Cooling Inc

Whether you are looking for a replacement air handler or gas furnace, your best line of defense is to be proactive in making a plan for replacement. Make sure to take your time and shop for the option that best suits your needs and budget. By carefully selecting the option that best suits your home ahead of time and not waiting until the last moment, you will be much happier with your decision in the long run.

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