When your furnace breaks down you have a choice to make. Should you pay for furnace repairs and keep your old furnace or invest in a newer, updated model? To answer the question, here are quite a few factors should consider before you make your final decision.
What Does Your Budget Look Like?
The first thing to look at is your budget. No matter whether you end up going with a new unit or repairing your old one, the cost is probably going to be unpleasant. No one likes unexpected costs, and this is a bad one. While your HVAC technician will probably have a recommendation for you on whether you should repair the old unit or replacement, this won't matter much if you simply can't afford more than the repair at this time. If you do decide to keep the old furnace, it is best to start putting money away. That way the next time your furnace breaks you will be in a better position to get it replaced.
Another option if you don't have the money up front is to borrow some. This may be inevitable if you don't have the money for the repairs, but it might allow you to replace your heater instead of repairing it if that is the better choice. Just be sure to include the interest when you are comparing the costs and benefits of replacement.
How Much Will a New Furnace Save You?
Online energy calculators are a great way to get an idea of what the actual financial cost would be if you got a new heater. Even if you have the money in your pocket right now to buy a new one, it may not be worthwhile if you won't save much money on your monthly energy bills. These calculators are also a good way to play with the numbers a bit. You can set the calculators to match different models of heaters you may be considering, and see how the energy costs line up with the price tag.
To this equation, you can now include the cost of your heater repairs. If your heater is over a decade old, this is often enough to push the needle over the edge to make replacement worthwhile. Your HVAC technician will likely already have this recommendation ready for you, but by doing your own research, you will be ready to guide the conversation and make sure that their recommendation comes from the cost of installing the type of heater you are looking to purchase next.
Are There Other Reasons You Should Replace Your Furnace?
If you inherited your furnace from the previous homeowner, you could get a nasty surprise when a qualified technician finally gets a good, solid look at your furnace. It is not uncommon to find out that the old unit is too big for your home. There are a couple of reasons that this happens.
The first is the concept of "bigger is always better". When it comes to your furnace, this is not the case. A furnace that is too large will not only use more power than necessary to heat your home, it will also be unable to complete its normal cycle before shutting off. This will damage your furnace over time, and may actually be the root cause of its current failure. The second is modern efficiency. If you have upgraded your insulation and sealed the home properly, a smaller furnace will be able to get the job done.
Deciding whether to replace or repair your furnace is not always easy. The best way to ensure you make the right decision is to break down the situation and look at what is really going to be the best choice in the long run.