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First Choice Heating & Cooling Blog

This Old Furnace: When It’s Time to Replace It


We can’t imagine you harbor any nostalgic feelings about the furnace warming your home during the winter. Furnaces are not romanticized pieces of machinery; they’re kept out of sight and are entirely functional in appearance. You don’t decorate your furnace for the holiday season. (It might be dangerous anyway; the furnace needs to be clear on all sides.)

Where are we going with this? There’s no reason to keep around an old furnace just because. No attachment. Most of the time, the only thing holding people back from scheduling a replacement for an old furnace in Fenton, MI is the costs involved. But in most cases, it’s less expensive to have a new furnace put in, and often the safer choice.

When a Furnace Is Too Old

The big question: “What is the retirement age for a furnace?” There can’t be a single answer to the question that applies to every situation, since furnaces are different and people use them differently. If a furnace never receives regular maintenance, it may only go for a few years before it’s done. (This is your monthly reminder of why routine professional maintenance is critical.) A quality furnace given special attention may go for 20 years.

However, we feel confident listing “15 years” as the point when you should give serious consideration to replacing a furnace. An electric furnace may go a bit longer, but with a gas furnace this is the point where the heater will start to provide diminishing returns. If you’re already experiencing unreliable performance from the furnace and need to have it fixed more often, the time has come to replace it.

How a Replacement Pays for Itself

A new furnace is a large investment, but we want to assure you this investment pays you back. It is worth it to retire a furnace older than 15 years with a new unit.

First, the new furnace will have better energy efficiency than the old one. Even if you don’t install a special high-efficiency unit, you’ll probably be looking at a 10% increase in efficiency between the two. Furnace technology has advanced over a decade and a half, and an aging furnace has probably declined in efficiency because of wear and tear. When the new furnace is in place, you’ll start to see lower heating bills.

A replacement furnace also saves money on repairs. When a furnace reaches the finish line, it may start to cost $500 in repairs to keep it going each year. A new furnace will cost zero in repairs for many years.

Finally, there’s safety. You can’t put a price tag on this! If you have a natural gas furnace that’s so old it’s starting to become hazardous (such as cracks in the heat exchanger, which can occur when corrosion sets in due to age), then no matter the cost, a new furnace is worth it. Keeping your family safe is priceless—so putting in a safer furnace immediately pays for itself.

We are here to help you when it comes to upgrading your furnace or other heating system. If you are unsure about whether you should replace that old furnace, arrange for an appointment with one of our technicians.

First Choice Heating & Cooling: If Your Home Had a Voice, It Would Call First Choice!

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