Should I Repair or Replace My Furnace?

repair or replace my furnace? - McQuillan Bros

Should I Repair or Replace My Furnace?

Although we are an entire season away from winter, it doesn’t hurt to prepare in advance. It’s never too late to start equipping your home for winter, especially if you are a homeowner in Northern US cities like Minneapolis. One of the most crucial steps of readying your house for the cold is inspecting your furnace for signs of wear and tear. The last thing you want to do is wake up to a freezing cold house in the middle of winter.
However, many people have trouble deciding whether they should keep forking out their money for furnace repairs or just replace the furnace entirely. Ultimately, each case is unique, and the decision to repair or replace varies. Ideally, this decision should be made long before winter starts. This will give you more time to research and ask around for estimates. Also, it’s likely that it will cost you less in parts and labor as there will be less demand for a White Bear Lake HVAC contractor at the time. 
Additionally, you will be able to plan and budget your finances. Below is a guide prepared by the White Bear Lake heating and cooling experts at McQuillan Bros. Use this guide to help you decide between repairing or replacing your furnace.

Your Furnace Is Leaking Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas that is fatal if inhaled for extended periods. If your furnace has a cracked combustion chamber and is leaking carbon monoxide, it needs to be replaced ASAP. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 2,200 people died from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning between 2010 and 2015. Majority of these deaths happening during winter.
If you notice any of the following, your furnace may be leaking carbon dioxide:

  • Streaks of soot around the furnace.
  • Excess moisture on surfaces like windows and walls.
  • A yellow flame instead of blue in the furnace.
  • Rust on the furnace exhaust pipe.
  • Nausea, disorientation, headache, and other flu-like symptoms. 

Immediately evacuate the building and seek medical attention. Once you have called the fire department and notified your utility company to shut off your gas, contact a White Bear Lake HVAC contractor to replace your furnace.

Your Furnace is Over 15 Years Old

A high-quality furnace should last 15-30 years before being replaced, according to the US Department of Energy. Over time, even the best made and maintained heating systems would start breaking down, working less efficiently, and requiring more repairs. It would be economical to replace an old furnace instead of spending thousands of dollars on repairs. However, if the furnace is relatively young and still has much of its lifespan ahead of it, having it serviced would be the better choice.

The Cost of Repairing the Furnace is Over Half the Cost of Replacing It

It makes basic economic sense, and even the experts recommend it. If the furnace repair cost is more than 50% the cost of a new furnace replace it. An older system that has exceeded around three-quarters or 75% of its life expectancy should be replaced if repairing it is more than a third of the replacement cost.

Your Heating Bills Are Increasing

Aside from the usual fluctuations due to weather patterns, supply, and demand, you should be concerned if you notice unusual spikes in your energy bills. Due to wear and tear and simple aging, the furnace’s internal components start breaking down and work less efficiently. This puts extra strain on the furnace.
To ensure the output remains the same, the furnace will use more energy. So, you end up paying more for the same level of heating. Our friends at Gilmore Heating and Air, a heating and cooling company in Placerville, say that if the furnace is less than 15 years old and the cost of repair is less than half the cost of replacing it, it makes economic sense to replace the defective parts. However, if the furnace is older than 15 years, it would be better to replace it with a newer heating system.

Your Furnace is Working Less Efficiently 

Have you had to tinker with your thermostat settings more often than you used to? Does your home seem to be heated unevenly, with some rooms being warmer than others are? Although your heating system may just be losing power or the duct system may be struggling to distribute heat, it is also likely that your furnace is working less efficiently than it used to. If it is a relatively new system and the repair cost does not exceed half the replacement costs, contact an HVAC contractor in White Bear Lake. Our team of professionals will come out for heating maintenance. However, if the furnace is advanced in age, repairing it would only be postponing the inevitable. Replace it instead.
A healthy and well-functioning furnace is crucial to living through the cold months of winter. When contemplating “should I repair or replace my furnace?”, use this guide to help you make the best decision. McQuillan Bros, MN furnace installation experts, are happy to help. Contact us today for honest work at fair prices.