“When Should I Replace My Furnace?” [FAQ]
A question we hear often from Minnesota homeowners is, “When should I replace my gas furnace?”
Well, deciding to replace a furnace is a bit like replacing a car: It’s not always clear cut and is often an accumulation of several factors.
With that in mind, you should consider replacing your furnace soon if...
Sign 1: Your furnace is 15-30 years old
Furnaces typically live about 15 to 30 years according to energy.gov.
The lifespan range depends on how often you use your furnace and how well you’ve taken care of it. Professional maintenance, for example, can help extend the life of your furnace.
Sign 2: You need frequent repairs
Ever had an old car that just kept breaking down over and over and over again? And, at some point, you’re like, “It’s not worth repairing it anymore!”
Yeah, it’s like that with a furnace too.
Except furnaces should rarely break down (as long as it’s maintained properly, anyway). So if your furnace has had some pricy repair over the past 2 years, you should consider getting a new one soon. Otherwise you may get an overly expensive breakdown on a cold winter night and you’ll be in a rush to get a new furnace.
And who wants to do that?
Sign 3: High heating bills despite the same energy usage
Honestly? You can run a junker furnace into the ground. But doing so could cost you over the years due to sky-high heating bills.
But how do you know if the savings of buying a more efficient furnace are worth the upfront cost?
Here’s what you can do.
Step 1: See how much a new furnace could save you relative to its remaining lifespan of your current furnace.
Let’s say your furnace is 15 years old and could live another 15 years. Let’s also assume it has a 60% AFUE rating.
Note: 60% AFUE just means, basically for every $1 you spend on heating, 60 cents actually heats your home and 40 cents is wasted due to inefficiencies.
How much would you save by upgrading to a 90% AFUE furnace? This savings calculator can give you an idea.
As you can see, over 15 years a Minnesotan would save over $14,500! Of course, the actual savings would vary depending on the size of your home and other factors.
Step 2: Compare savings to the cost of a new furnace
To get the cost of a new furnace with installation, contact a Minnesota furnace installer for a free estimate.
Problems a new furnace may NOT fix
Some people want a new furnace because they think it’ll solve allll their comfort problems. But it won’t.
Some comfort problems are caused by non-furnace issues. For example:
- Your home has humidity problems—Your home may be too dry because of leaky return air ducts. Or your home is leaky, bringing in cold dry air from outside.
- Rooms are unevenly heated—While an undersized furnace could be the problem, the issues could be leaky air ducts.
- Furnace puts out excessive dust—That sounds like you either have dirty ductwork and need duct cleaning, or your have a duct leak in your attic and you need duct sealing.
What you should do next
Now? You should contact 2-3 furnace contractors for free furnace estimates. This information will give you some numbers to work with. You can weigh the possible savings of a new furnace with the other factors (how old your furnace is, number of repairs lately.)
If you live in Hastings, MN or the surrounding areas, we can give you your first furnace installation estimate (yes, it’s free).