How long should a gas furnace last?A recent study by the National Association of Home Builders found that gas furnaces last an average of 15 to 20 years. So consider the age of the unit when deciding whether to repair or replace. When a furnace is installed most technicians will write the year the equipment was installed right on the unit. You can also look for a metal identification plate, usually on the inside of chamber door (be sure the unit is off and cool before checking inside). Record the model and serial number, then call the manufacturer’s customer service number to obtain the date of manufacture
How much will repairing your furnace cost?If the furnace is beyond three-quarters of its life expectancy and repairing it would cost a 1/3 or more of the amount of a new furnace, it may be more economical to replace the unit. Parts like heat exchangers can be expensive to replace, and are often a sign that the furnace is past it's expected lifespan.
Consider the energy savings of a new furnaceIn these days of sky high fuel costs, it's important to factor in the efficiency of your old furnace versus a new, energy efficient unit. A standard measure of fuel efficiency is the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency number (AFUE). AFUE measures the percentage of the fuel that’s converted to heat rather than being lost through inefficiency.
If the furnace is 20 or more years old, its AFUE is probably about 70. New furnaces will have an AFUE of at least 80%, which means you’ll burn 10% less fuel, that's 10% savings of your heating bill. High efficiency furnaces go as high a 95% AFUE , which could save you 25% on your heating bill.
Other Factors to ConsiderDepending on the time of year, many manufacturers offer rebates on new heating and cooling systems that could save you a significant amount on the up-front cost of purchasing a new system.
Considering whether to repair or replace your furnace? Give MR Plumbing Heating Air Electrical a call. We can help with all your home heating needs from repair and maintenance to new system installation.