We have the luxury of holding on with an older heating system here in Corona, CA, since our winters are reasonably mild. Back East, a faulty furnace needs to be addressed quickly before it plunges your home into a deep freeze, but here, you can limp along with an outdated heater or even go without for a few weeks in an emergency.
Nevertheless, older heating systems eventually need replacement, and this is usually the time of year when that fact becomes apparent. Most homeowners have been using their furnace for a few months, and if trouble is brewing, it will likely have made itself known.
Symptoms of trouble can vary from unit to unit, but they boil down to two factors: age and cost.
Age concerns the age of the unit itself, and more specifically whether the warranty has expired or not. If the warranty is still in effect, then repair is usually a preferable alternative to replacement. If it has expired, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it needs replacement. Regular maintenance and care can extend the system’s life well beyond that, but it should be considered a warning sign. If your warranty has expired and it’s accompanied by higher costs as outlined below, however, the one-two punch may be enough to seriously consider a replacement.
Cost can be further subdivided into two basic categories:
- Repair costs are those stemming from formal repair session. As your furnace gets older, you’re going to need to get it repair more often as a matter of course, but three or more formal repair sessions in a single 12-month period suggest that the time may have come to get it replaced. Alternately, it may only be one repair job, but the cost of it — or the importance of the component being repaired, such as the heat exchanger — may be more than the older heater is worth. It might be a better idea to spend that money on a new system rather than propping up the old one for a few more months.
- Monthly cost means the price of running the furnace from month to month. Heaters lose efficiency as they get older, and again while regular maintenance can curtail that, wear and tear will eventually take their toll. As it does, the monthly cost of running your furnace will go up. Eventually, it becomes more expensive than it’s worth, and replacing the system will mean cutting down on your monthly costs (and helping to recoup the cost of the installation over time).
In the end, only you can decide when the right time to replace your furnace will be. In some cases, that may mean waiting for spring, in which case now is a good time to start planning. If you’d like a new heating system sooner, that allows you to enjoy the additional savings for the rest of the winter which is no small consideration. Either way, it pays to have a quality heating service on your side to help.
Call the pros at Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. today!