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First Choice Heating & Cooling Blog

Is That Furnace Repair Worth the Cost?


rustic old furnace

If an expensive appliance in your home breaks, your first thought won’t be to simply toss it out but to have it professionally repaired. Life would get extremely expensive if you kept replacing dishwashers, refrigerators, furnaces, and air conditioners the moment they showed signs of trouble.

On the other hand, all appliances have life cycles and will not last forever. As an appliance ages, it will accrue more repairs and begin to work less effectively and efficiently. At a certain point, you’ll have to make the choice about investing in another repair or getting a new appliance.

We’re experts when it comes to furnace repair in Burton, MI, so we can help you understand when it’s worthwhile to repair an old furnace and when it’s time to move on with a new one.

First consider the furnace’s age

A natural gas furnace will last for about 15 years, and an electric furnace for 20. This assumes that both types receive annual professional maintenance—otherwise the furnace will not last as long and the life expectancy may drop by half. We recommend that you start considering replacing a furnace that’s over its expected lifespan when it starts to need repairs. Any repair will probably only keep the unit going for an extra one to two years, and you’ll face another repair. It’s more cost-effective to start fresh with a new unit. 

Look at recent repair frequency

A furnace that’s well-maintained should rarely experience repair issues. They shouldn’t become annual or even biannual events. If your furnace needed a repair in the last two years before this newest repair, it may not be worth it to continue with the repair. 

The rule of 5,000

This is a simple rule of thumb you can use to analyze the cost of a repair to see if it’s worth it. Your technician will give you a quote on the cost of the repair. Multiply that by the age of the furnace in years. If the amount is greater than 5,000, it’s better to skip the repair and replace the unit. For example, a 10-year-old furnace with a $400 repair is probably worth it. (10 x 400 = 4,000) A 14-year-old furnace with a $600 repair is probably not. (14 x 600 = 8,400)

Balance the repair cost against the replacement cost

This is another way to analyze the repair cost to see if it’s better to get a new unit. If the quote for the repair is more than 50% of the cost of a replacement unit, it’s too expensive. You’ll have to talk to your technicians about the different models available for a replacement to get a good general estimate of what it will cost to get a new unit. 

When in doubt, ask your HVAC pro

We’re here to help you get the best for your home, and we’re ready to give you honest answers to any questions you have about whether to repair or replace your furnace. We won’t try to pressure you to make a purchase you don’t need. 

First Choice Heating & Cooling serves Fenton, Linden, Holly, and the surrounding areas. If your home had a voice … it would call First Choice.

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