Furnace Problems? Should You Fix Or Replace It?
With winter on the horizon, the last thing you want is to get out of bed and find that your floor is ice-cold due to a furnace malfunction. The question is, should you fix or replace our furnace? Our top-rated heating contractor serving Ottawa has some answers.
Safety is #1
Issues like faulty electronics, broken air filters, and stubborn valves are all candidates for repair. However, if our technician inspects your furnace and finds a cracked heat exchanger – that is, a crack in the metal wall that separates the burning fuel from the air it’s heating – we’ll urge you to replace your furnace. The reason being that a cracked heat exchanger can lead to carbon monoxide leaking into your home. Everything we do and recommend is focused on “safety first”.
On average, you should expect to get 15 – 20 years of production from your furnace. However, many furnaces, especially newer models, especially if it’s regularly maintained. If you’re unsure how old your furnace is, there’s a good chance that the installer wrote the date/year on the unit itself. If it’s not there, turn the furnace off, wait until it’s cool, and then open the main chamber door. There’s a metal identification plate inside that confirms the model type and serial number for your furnace. Call the manufacturer, provide this information, and they’ll tell you the exact age of your furnace.
Consider the Costs
Just like any other product that can be repaired or replaced, cost is the big determiner for which path to pursue. A new furnace can run you anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000, depending on its efficiency level. Let’s assume that your current furnace is 17 years old and its life expectancy is 20 years. The most oft-used guideline, one that’s been around for decades, is that if a piece of equipment has exceeded three-quarters of its lifespan and repairing it will cost more than one-third the price of a replacement, than it’s better to buy the replacement instead of sinking more money into the existing furnace.
Replacing Your Furnace
If furnace repair isn’t an option and you’re ready to buy a new model, bear in mind that fuel prices are high and decreasing your carbon footprint is a wise move. Thankfully, J.D. Swallow offers a number of energy-efficient furnaces, all of which offer far superior performance to models built even a decade ago. For example, a furnace designed in 1998 may have been 70 percent efficient, meaning that 70 percent of its energy was converted into useful heat, while the remaining 30 percent was lost due to inefficiencies.
Nowadays, the minimum efficiency rating for a furnace is 80 percent, which means you’re saving 10 percent per month on your heating bill. State-of-the-art models attain a 95 percent efficiency, which is remarkable. Of course, these are also the most expensive options, but think about how quickly you’ll cover your investment via lower monthly bills. Plus, many of today’s models come with local and federal tax incentives.
Your Local HVAC Contractors
Contact our nearby HVAC company for more info on all things furnace-related, and for all of your heating repair and cooling needs.