Most homeowners in the Joplin area will agree that there is nothing worse than being cold in your own home. But they will also chime in that there is a limit to what they can afford to spend to keep warm during the winter months. And it can be a constant balancing act to keep both of these needs met. Unfortunately, if many consumers would ask for advice from an HVAC professional, they would learn that a large part of their challenge is due to the age and function of their furnace. But because this is a costly item to replace, we all want to get as many years of service as possible from our existing furnace, even if it is not as energy efficient as it once was. But that could be a huge mistake. Below are a few criteria you should use when deciding if it is time for a new furnace.
Do You Know How Old Your Furnace Is?
The average life expectancy of a furnace is claimed to be about 20 years. But that number comes from the manufacturer, who is sure to error on the high side. It also assumes that the unit has a perfect life and gets the best service and care possible. So for most households, 15 years of service from a furnace is a good target. And that is only if you have been diligent about replacing dirty air filters and having the system professionally serviced and cleaned regularly. Also, factor in the region and how much use the furnace sees. A well-maintained furnace that gets much use will last fewer years than one that gets good care but is only used sporadically.
Evaluate The Operating Cost
While you might be trying to avoid the cost of a furnace replacement, be sure to honestly evaluate what you are paying to operate your furnace. As mechanical devices age, they tend to become less energy-efficient. And in some cases, you will find that your utility bill is climbing each month you operate the furnace. So temper the cost of a new furnace with reduced energy bills to have a more accurate idea of the monthly budget if you replace your furnace.
The other half of the operating cost of your furnace is the tally on the repair bills. As those repairs add up, keep track of the amount. You never want to invest more than 50% of the replacement cost of a furnace into repair bills. You might also find a bit of a bonus in the peace of mind of knowing that a new furnace will not be failing in the middle of a cold night or on a holiday weekend, making a repair even more costly and challenging.
How Noisy Is Your Furnace?
Unfortunately, most older appliances begin to moan and groan some time before they provide their last days of service. We often get used to the sounds gradually, so they are not the red flag you might expect them to be. Take a few moments to listen to the sounds your furnace is making. Are there all kinds of rattles, banding, and clanging? If the answer is yes, there could be several components that have worked loose and are on the verge of failure. Know that if any of those parts breaks, it will take other components with it, making the repair cost even higher.
If you have concerns about your furnace making it through the winter, call (417) 345-3192. The Upland Servicing experts will evaluate the unit and provide you with a professional recommendation for a repair or replacement to ensure you have reliable heat this winter.