If your Ronkonkoma, NY, home relies on a gas furnace for heat, it’s not alone. Gas furnaces are the most popular home heating solution in the US, making up roughly 51% of all heating systems. That’s because they’re efficient, reliable, and safe. Plus, the majority of homes here either already have or could have natural gas supply lines running to them. However, as reliable as gas furnaces are, they don’t last forever. Eventually, they may grow unreliable or old enough that they need replacement. But how should you decide whether a repair of your existing furnace or a replacement is the best option? Here’s how to make that all-important decision.
Consider the Age of Your Furnace
On average, you can expect a well-maintained gas furnace to give you between 15 and 20 years of reliable service. So, if your furnace is within that age range, you may want to consider replacing it. If you do so while your furnace is still operating, you’ll have the time to evaluate your replacement options carefully. It will also allow you to make preparations to pay for what is a major investment in your home. If you wait for your existing furnace to fail, you will have to hurry to choose a new one. That can end up driving up the price of the replacement and affect your home’s comfort for years to come.
If your furnace is less than 15 years old, a repair might be the right choice. However, you should consult with one of our expert HVAC technicians before you make any decisions. In some cases, repair costs for an older furnace can be high, depending on what’s wrong. A good rule of thumb to follow in this case is the 50% rule; if repairs will cost more than 50% of the cost of a replacement, the repair is probably not worth it.
Examine Your Energy Bills
Another thing to think about when you approach the decision of whether to repair or replace your furnace is your energy bills. As furnaces age, their efficiency drops. This happens even if you have regular maintenance performed every year on your furnace. And if you don’t, the efficiency drop may be even more pronounced. When you consider that the average furnace will have only started with an efficiency of about 80%, even a small efficiency drop can cost you some serious money.
To figure it out, you’ll need your most recent energy bills and those from the same period the previous year. If you’re using more energy than last year and outside temperatures are roughly the same or warmer, your furnace’s efficiency could be the culprit. If there’s a major difference, it’s probably a good idea to have your furnace replaced. If the difference isn’t that great, a simple maintenance visit or a repair could be all you need.
Think About Your Repair History
The next thing to consider as you decide between a furnace repair and replacement is how often you’ve had to repair your furnace. In most cases, furnace breakdowns will increase within the final year of a given furnace’s useful life. In the real world, this means that if your furnace needs two major repairs within a single calendar year, you should consider replacing it rather than repairing it. This holds even if the repairs happen during two separate heating seasons.
There are two reasons for this. One is the costs involved. On average, a furnace repair can cost between $300 and $500. Two repairs at those prices simply aren’t worth it if they happen in quick succession. The other reason is that needing two major repairs in that short a span is an almost certain sign that your furnace is nearing the end of its life. This means the two repairs likely won’t be the last you’ll have to deal with. And the third repair could end up being even more costly, making a repair not worth the risk.
Think About Your Furnace’s Warranty
Of course, you should also think about your existing furnace’s warranty and if it’s still in effect before you opt for a furnace replacement. Most furnaces come with 10-year limited parts warranties and a 20-year warranty on their heat exchangers. Your warranty could cover some of the costs of a repair, depending on what you need. This is something you should discuss with one of our HVAC technicians if your furnace needs repairs. They’ll help you figure out what your warranty covers and what it doesn’t, so you won’t have to pay for any covered parts. That could tip the balance toward a repair in some cases by reducing the total cost of a repair versus a replacement.
Evaluate Your Home’s Comfort
Another reason why you might favor a replacement over a repair is if your existing furnace wasn’t meeting your comfort needs to begin with. In a situation like that, no repair will help. At best, you’ll end up with a furnace that works but that still isn’t offering the comfort you want. In those cases, a furnace replacement is the only viable option. It will simultaneously improve your home’s comfort while giving you another 15 to 20 years of reliable service.
Examine Your Budget
Any way you look at it, installing a new furnace is a major investment in your home. And few individual repairs cost anywhere near what you’ll pay for a furnace replacement. That said, there may be situations when you can’t afford to pay for a furnace replacement. In those cases, it may be a wise choice to use a repair as a stopgap measure to buy you the time you need to line up the financing for a new furnace. You should know, however, that we offer financing on approved credit to help you afford a new furnace if you need one. So, make sure to talk to us first before you spend money on a repair that may not be worth doing.
Your Trusted Furnace Experts
Since 1976, Cool Power LLC has been the go-to provider of furnace services in Ronkonkoma. Plus, we offer complete HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance services, as well as commercial services if you also own a business in the area. Our staff of highly-trained and experienced HVAC technicians can make short work of most furnace repairs and can handle furnace installations even in the most challenging of conditions. We complete 75% of our installations in a single day, so you won’t have any lengthy disruptions to deal with when you need a new furnace. We also offer free estimates on all installations, so you never have to wonder how much a new furnace will cost. Plus, as one of the top 25 Lennox dealers in the country, working with us means you’ll get an industry-leading furnace built to the highest quality standards possible.
For furnace repairs and replacements in Ronkonkoma, call our team at Cool Power LLC today.