The unpredictable winter weather around Billings necessitates having a furnace you can depend on to keep your family safe and comfortable. As your unit ages, it can become a challenge to determine whether to continue sinking money into repairs. Consider these variables to evaluate whether you should repair or replace your current furnace.

Your Current Unit’s Age

Furnaces are designed to serve most homes for 15 to 20 years if they receive proper maintenance and attention. Knowing this, you can plan for when to replace your furnace rather than waiting for it to suffer a catastrophic failure, giving you time to research and plan, reducing the cost of replacing your system. For instance, planning for the replacement in the spring or fall often allows you to take advantage of manufacturer discounts during the off-season. If your furnace is running well, start planning for your replacement once it reaches 15 years.

Ability to Maintain Household Comfort

One of the telltale signs your furnace isn’t working well is when it struggles to maintain your home’s comfort. You may notice that it runs but that it never quite feels comfortable. It could be that you notice some areas in your home are warmer while others remain cool. This can happen as your unit approaches the end of its service life as the circulating fan stops spinning as fast, reducing the amount of air it moves.

Track Heating Costs

It’s always wise to track your heating expenses, both in fuel consumption and electricity used. Given the widely variable utility costs, it’s better to track consumption over a longer time frame to more easily determine how your usage changes. Your furnace will slowly lose its efficiency as it ages, causing it to run longer cycles and consume more fuel and energy. This is especially prevalent in the last two years of its operating life. Some simple repairs may increase your heating system’s efficiency, but higher utility costs are an indication that it may be time to replace your system.

Evaluate Repair Costs

Along with utility costs, you’ll notice a significant increase in repairs in your furnace’s last two years of service. When you start to have repair costs that represent a significant portion of what a new unit may cost, it may be time to replace it.

Carbon Monoxide Leaks

Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of burning fuel and is one of the risks that furnaces have that’s often taken for granted. When your unit is installed and operating properly, this toxic gas will safely vent with the rest of the exhaust. However, it will leak into your home if your unit’s heat exchanger is cracked. A technician will inspect the heat exchanger and test for carbon monoxide leaks during routine maintenance. They will inform you if there is a problem with the heat exchanger. If there is an issue, it may be time to consider replacing your furnace if it is nearing its expected lifetime.

Consider When You Plan to Move

If your furnace is nearing what should be the end of its service life, you may want to consider replacing it if you’re planning to sell your home. While furnace upgrades don’t generally increase property value, an old furnace can affect your offers. Potential buyers consider major repairs the property will likely require in the near future, including a furnace replacement. If you have a furnace that’s nearing or over 15 years old, you may miss out on an offer or have that offer significantly reduced to account for the need for a replacement. Conversely, a relatively new unit may garner more competitive offers because the house is closer to being move-in ready.

You’re Looking for Tax Savings

While you’re considering when to replace your furnace, also consider the tax incentives available. Even if your unit is a few years away from needing a replacement, the tax incentives may make it worth replacing it sooner. Consult with your tax professional to explore what incentives are currently offered and whether your tax situation could benefit from a furnace upgrade.

Contact the Professionals

People around Billings have trusted Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning, LLC’s family-owned approach to keeping their homes comfortable since 1983. Our award-winning team provides heating and air conditioning installation, maintenance, and repair. We also offer a fireplace and indoor air quality services. Call to schedule your replacement consultation with one of our NATE-certified experts today.

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