Repair vs. Replace: How to Know When It’s Time for a New Furnace

Your furnace needs to be repaired once again, and you wonder if it’s finally time to get it replaced.
Every time before, you have just paid to repair it, hoping it would be the last time. But after how many repairs is it better to just get a new furnace? If you find yourself asking how do I know it’s time for a new furnace, it’s time to learn for yourself if your furnace needs to be replaced by looking for these tell-tale signs.

Your furnace has lived past the average lifespan

While a furnace’s lifespan varies by brand, the California Energy Commission recommends replacing your furnace if it is over 15 years old.

If your furnace is over 15 years old, making costly repairs could be like putting a new engine into a car with over 400,000 miles – it may run okay but it won’t be as efficient and reliable as a new one.

Your heating bill has increased

An increase in your heating bills is a common sign that it’s time to replace your furnace.

As it ages and internal parts begin to wear out, your furnace becomes less energy efficient. This increases your heating bill because your furnace has to burn more fuel to provide the temperature you want.

Compare this winter’s heating bills with those from the last several years. Is there a large difference? If so, it may be a sign your furnace is nearing the end of its life.

The money saved in energy efficiency will easily pay for a new furnace in a few years if you buy a furnace with a high
AFUE rating.

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You have needed frequent furnace repairs

Like a maintaining an old car, It doesn’t take too many repairs before keeping your old furnace isn’t worth the cost. If your furnace has required frequent and serious repairs in the past two years, it might be time to say sayonara and get it replaced.

Your furnace is emitting carbon monoxide

A furnace with a cracked combustion chamber needs to be replaced because your furnace will leak carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, and colorless toxic gas that causes headaches, dizziness and death (if inhaled for extended periods of time).

Signs your furnace produces carbon monoxide include:

  • furnace burner flame is yellow instead of blue
  • extra moisture found on windows, walls, or other cold surfaces
  • rusting on flue pipes or other pipe connections
  • streaks of soot around furnace
  • absence of upward draft in chimney

If your furnace shows these signs, leave your house, and call your utility company to tell them to turn your gas off. (And then call a professional heating company to take a look at your furnace.)

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Still not sure if you need to replace or repair? We understand. It’s an important decision.
Schedule an appointment online and one of our expert technicians can come to your home and help.

Service Champions serves the air conditioning needs of Southern California, including Orange County, LA County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County.