Your furnace is designed to be hidden away so that your home can stay warm without you having to think about much else besides adjusting the thermostat. If you’re lucky, your furnace will stay in top shape for years with just an annual checkup and regular filter replacement. As your furnace ages, repairs will start to become inevitable. Below are some furnace performance factors you should consider when deciding whether to repair or replace your furnace.
When to Repair or Replace Your Furnace
ENERGY STAR guidelines suggest replacing your furnace in the following situations:
- Older than 15 years: If you have a furnace older than 15 years old, wear and tear isn’t the only reason to consider replacing it. New regulations requiring appliances to be more energy efficient could lead to your annual heating bill being cut by 20 percent to 50 percent if you switch from an inefficient to a highly efficient furnace.
- Increasing heating bills: Energy costs are increasing, but make sure your increasing energy bills are due to that and not due to increased fuel use. If you’re using more fuel, it’s probably a sign that age has made your furnace less efficient.
- Certain rooms too hot or too cold: Varied room temperatures is often a sign that your furnace isn’t properly sized for your home. This is often the case when your home has been renovated since your furnace was installed. When your furnace is too small, it may not produce enough heat to reach all rooms. If it’s too large, it may heat the area near the thermostat so quickly that your furnace cycles off before other rooms have been heated.
- Repairs frequently needed: In theory, you may be able to repair your existing furnace forever and never need a new one. However, because furnaces do wear out, the expense of constant repairs will almost certainly be more than a replacement.
What to Look for in a Furnace Replacement
The two most important factors when choosing a new furnace are sizing and energy efficiency. To get your furnace sized properly for efficient heating, don’t just rely on square footage — have an experienced HVAC technician visit your home to check for factors like sun exposure, insulation, and appliance locations.
Once you know the size you need, compare models by Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. AFUE lets you know how much of the energy used by a furnace turns into heat, and AFUEs above 90 percent are now the norm. A lower AFUE will mean spending more money on heating bills without getting anything in return.
For an efficient new furnace or quality furnace repairs in the Prattville AL area, contact Air Conditioning by Luquire. If you aren’t sure what you need, we’ll use our over 30 years of experience to help you figure out what’s best for your home.