Furnace Replacement Vs. Repair: Why, When And Is It Worth It?

furnace repair

This past month has provided nothing but support for the fact that Midwestern winters can be brutal and relentless. I think we can all agree that the furnace is, without a doubt, the most important appliance in a home. A very common situation homeowners run into is the debate about whether to continue repairing their current furnace or if it is time to get a new heating system all together. There is a lot that goes into this choice and we are here to educate you how to make the best decision possible. We’ve compiled a list of signs for you to look out for when faced with furnace replacement vs repair.  

When to know that a repair just won’t cut it anymore

In the middle of winter is the worst time to gamble with this question. A furnace that needs replaced is like a ticking time bomb that can blow at any given moment, leaving you and your family in the freezing cold without heat. If you can help it, it is advised not to wait until that moment happens but instead watch closely for the signs that your furnace is failing. 

  • Your furnace is making strange noises 
  • It is requiring frequent repairs and the repairs are increasingly expensive. 
  • It turns on and off frequently
  • Your bills are increasing and you aren’t using it any more than usual
  • Some rooms are not heated or are heated unevenly
  • Rust, cracks or corrosion is visible 
  • Age: if your system is between 15-30 years old it might not be worth it to keep up the increasingly frequent maintenance

Listen (literally) to the warning signs

If your furnace starts making strange noises you should definitely get it checked out by a licensed HVAC specialist. Some noises could be a simple fix, but others might be more indicative of a bigger problem.

  • Popping – Fluctuations in temperature is the culprit here, parts in the furnace are affected by the degree change.
  • Rattling – This could be attributed to ducts or system parts that have loosened over time.
  • Screeching – Typically points to a damaged blower motor or belt. 
  • Loud humming – A soft hum is normal, if it gets noticeably louder your blower motor could be malfunctioning.  
  • Clicking – Either flame sensor or ignition, which is typically a standard repair
  • Booming – This could be a sign of a major gas issue causing a slight delay during ignition. If you smell gas call the gas company along with a licensed HVAC contractor.  

As a furnace nears the end of its lifespan, malfunctions can often occur more frequently and the recurrent repairs add up. The best way to lengthen the life of your system is to have yearly maintenance performed by a respected heating specialist. Another easy tip is to to stay on top of your filter changes. Replacing dirty filters will ensure your furnace is always performing  efficiently and effectively.

How do I know if the repair is worth it?

Simple math!  If the estimated cost to repair your furnace is 50% or more than the cost of a new furnace, it’s time to start preparing for a replacement.  In general systems that are less than 10 years old, can typically be repaired without much worry.  But as your system ages, parts become harder to find, repairs tend to be more significant and there’s nothing that guarantees that these repairs will be a long-term fix.

When in doubt…call Jackson Comfort Services.  Our team of comfort specialists will give you an honest assessment of your situation and will aid you in making the right decision for your home and your wallet.

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