When you have dealt with blackouts, storms, below zero temperatures and piles of snow, you begin to take notice of the all-important but never completely forgotten furnace.
A furnace is most commonly purchased and replaced every 15-25 years, but your HVAC system is the essential heat source for six months a year.
How do you know when your furnace has seen its last days and is ready to quit once and for all?
There are some indications that a furnace is nearing the end of its life cycle and if you know these indicators, you know whether your furnace has some time left or if you need to be looking for a good replacement.
How old is your HVAC, and has it been well-maintained?
If your furnace has been taken care of properly, it can last for up to 25 years. But that is ONLY if it has been well maintained. Have you changed the filters at least once a season? Do you have it inspected every six months to a year? Do you clean the furnace fan and blower regularly? If you do so, and your furnace seems to be running okay, you may get 25 years out of it. However, if the maintenance has not been done regularly, you may get as few as 10 or 15 years out of your HVAC system.
Can the problems be taken care of with inexpensive fixes?
If your furnace is in relatively good condition but needs some repair work, you might want to pay for the fix rather than a replacement. While a fan may cost $600, if that is the only problem and other parts are running well, it may make sense to replace the fan rather than buy a $5,000 furnace. If your furnace will need more fixes in a few years’ time and it is already getting old, paying to have a high-efficiency model installed will probably be the better option.
Knowing when to pay for repairs rather than give up and have a new furnace installed isn’t always a simple task. Some signs of a furnace going downhill fast include temperature differences, fast cycling, loud noises, and excessive dust.
Wide temperature variations in different rooms of your home that are not due to insulation problems is a sign that more problems are coming. A furnace that turns off and on more and more frequently is struggling to keep the temperatures even. A noisy furnace is already feeling the pain and screaming for help. Excessive dust and dirt on walls, floors, and furniture is a common sign that your furnace is getting old. If you add up the cost of repairs and find that you will spend a thousand in a couple of years, then you should realize that is 20 percent of the cost of a new furnace with much better efficiency.