As the chill of winter sets in, Idaho furnaces are put to the test. Temperatures drop to freezing and below, and furnaces may break while experiencing such heavy use. When a furnace dies, homeowners often wonder if they can get by with repairing the furnace, or if they have to replace it. It’s a difficult decision to make simply because of the cost of furnace replacement, and the answer can be tricky depending on the age of the furnace and how effective it is at heating the house.
How Often Should You Replace Your Furnace?
The average furnace lasts approximately 18–20 years, though the actual number depends on the furnace itself and the level of care put into maintaining it during its lifespan. If a furnace is regularly and professionally maintained it can last the full 20 years, but a furnace with deferred maintenance may give out sooner.
Signs Your Furnace Needs to Be Replaced
There are a few ways to determine if your furnace needs to be replaced, based on its age and efficiency:
Age of Furnace: A furnace within two years of its natural lifespan will begin to break down more readily, and the cost of repair will increase over time. When balancing the cost of furnace repair and the cost of furnace replacement, a good rule of thumb is that if a repair costs 50% of the cost of a new furnace, no matter the age, it’s best to buy a replacement. The older the furnace, the smaller the percentage of the cost of a new furnace that should be used.
Energy Efficiency: Even if a furnace is not reaching the end of its natural lifespan, it still may be prudent to replace the system if it is causing an increase in energy bills from heating. By having an energy audit performed and analyzing the money being wasted through the use of an inefficient furnace, you can determine if a new furnace would be a more cost-effective choice for you.
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