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Understanding Risks of Delaying Furnace Replacement

furnace-oldThe end of the winter season is a period when we recommend homeowners who have heating equipment that is older than 10 years give consideration to when it needs to be replaced. No, this doesn’t mean that a heating system that’s older than 10 years is an automatic replacement. But this is the period when the heater may start to show signs of wearing down, losing energy efficiency, and becoming a higher risk for a breakdown.

This is especially important for gas furnaces, which is probably the type of central heater your house uses. When you think about the recent performance of the furnace, are you on the fence about replacing it? We want to help you understand what kind of risks you’re taking if you delay replacing a furnace that needs it.

The Safety Risk

This comes first, becomes safety comes first in everything. It’s the most important part of our job, ensuring that HVAC systems aren’t endangering the health of a household. A gas furnace that is well-maintained will pose almost no risk during its service life, since all gas furnaces are designed to high safety specifications. But even with excellent maintenance, when a gas furnace becomes too old (such as over 15 years), it’s at a higher risk of cracked heat exchanger, a situation that can send toxic gases into the house. We recommend having a gas furnace over 15 years scheduled for replacement.

The Cost Risk

How much do you spend per year heating your house? You probably don’t have an answer off the top of your head, but you can look up past gas bills and your budget to get an idea. If the costs have been steadily rising, that’s a sign of a furnace going into decline. Putting in a new furnace will give you better energy efficiency (better than your original furnace even when it was new) and prevent you from throwing away more money.

The Performance Risk

Our winters can be rough, and you don’t want to have your furnace break down on you during one of the coldest nights of the year. With an older furnace, that becomes a greater likelihood, even with continued maintenance. Repairs that can get the furnace working again are liable to be expensive, and you may be caught doing an emergency replacement at the worst time. You can avoid this risk by getting ahead with a spring replacement.

The Repair Risk

The alternative to replacing the furnace is to continue to sink money into repairing it so it can trudge on. This might seem like a wise choice—you want to get the most year possible from the furnace. However, those repairs might be far too costly to justify. A repair that costs half the price of a new furnace isn’t worth it. Nor should you pay more than $500 a year to keep the furnace going.

We’re the Howell, MI, HVAC contractor who can help answer your questions about your furnace replacement. We’ll see you end up with the right solution for your home and budget.

First Choice Heating & Cooling makes your home happy. If your home had a voice … it would call First Choice!

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