Why Your Furnace Needs to Be Replaced Even Though It’s Still Working

Do you have an older furnace that works but doesn’t keep your home warm? Even though a furnace is working, there are telltale signs that show it’s nearing the end of its service life. Furnaces last between 15 and 20 years. Well-maintained units usually last longer. However, uneven heating, high energy bills and frequent or expensive repairs are common indicators that show it’s time for a replacement.

Older furnaces use more energy to run. Furnaces are rated according to Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. This measures the percentage of fuel energy utilized as heat compared to the percentage that is lost. New furnaces must have AFUEs of at least 78%, which means that 78% of the fuel is converted to heat and 22% goes up the chimney. Better furnaces have AFUEs of up to 98%. Older furnaces have AFUEs as low as 58%.

As furnaces age, parts wear out. Older furnaces tend to break down more often. In addition, it may be difficult to get parts for older equipment. At some point, repairs become too expensive. Experts suggest that if the furnace is more than 15 years old and repairs are more than 35% of the cost of a replacement, it’s time for a new one.

In addition to replacing the furnace, ask your contractor to examine the condition of your home’s ducts. As much as 30% of the conditioned air blowing through ducts is lost because of leaks and poor joins. Leaking ducts make a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system work harder, which uses more energy.

Although replacing a furnace is expensive, your heating contractor can help you calculate the payback in energy savings and repair costs. In addition, you will be more comfortable.

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