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Furnace Repair Cost vs. Furnace Replacement Cost: What You Should Know

piles-of-moneyWhen the winter weather finally ends during spring is one of the best times to consider making a big change with your home’s central heating system. Most years you won’t need to make any major changes—as long as the furnace is receiving regular maintenance and hasn’t shown signs its losing efficiency/dropping in performance. (Always be on the look out for a spike in your heating costs as a sign the furnace may be aging rapidly.)

However, if your furnace has recently given you trouble, you may be thinking about putting in a new one. Or, you could choose to have repairs and keep the furnace running for a few years. When comparing the cost of repairs against the cost of replacement, there are a few things to keep in mind.

The age of the furnace

How long you’ve had your furnace around is a big factor in whether the cost of repairs is still worthwhile. A furnace can last from 15 to 30 years (and occasionally longer, although this is rare) if it receives regular maintenance. But once the furnace has entered this age range, it’s a candidate for replacement whenever the repair price tag is too high.

How much the repair costs

When an older furnace malfunctions, call a technician to examine it and see if it can be repaired. If a repair is possible, the technician can provide you with a quote for how much it will cost. How will you know if the cost is too high?

One method is the “Rule of 5,000.” Take the price of the repair and multiply it by the age of the furnace. If the result is a number higher than 5,000, it’s probably better to skip the repair and get a new furnace. For example, if you have a 20-year-old furnace, any repair that costs more than $250 won’t be worth it. For a 15-year-old furnace, you don’t want to go higher than around $350.

Another measuring stick is comparing the cost of the repair with the cost of a new furnace you may wish to get. If the price of the repair is more than half the cost of the new furnace, the new furnace is the better choice.

Cumulative repairs

Have you already had repairs done for the furnace within the last year? If so, add that repair cost to the estimate for the new one. It the total comes to more than $500, you’re spending too much in a year to keep the system running. Not only is the furnace becoming expensive to keep, but it’s also turning less reliable. We strongly recommend a replacement in this case.

Technician recommendation

Finally, you should always ask a trustworthy HVAC technician for professional advice. The repair tech at your house can explain the different choices and their pros and cons. The technician will be able to give you an idea of how much longer your furnace will continue to run and what costs it may rack up over the years, and then compare that to the cost of moving ahead with a replacement.

For expert furnace repair Highland, MI, or furnace replacement, we’re the team to trust.

Talk to the First Choice Heating & Cooling professionals if you’re thinking of replacing your furnace. If your home had a voice … it would call First Choice!

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