Our winter temperatures don’t get as low as they do further east, but cold weather is still fairly common this time of year, and most homeowners will still need their furnaces to run on a daily basis in order to keep their homes comfortable. If you have an older heater and it’s on its last legs, a repair call may need to turn into a heating replacement rather than try to push it further. But how can you tell? What’s the best way to determine if a breakdown in the middle of winter is enough to warrant a new furnace, or if it can keep going with a little work?
In the end, only you can make that decision. However, there are a few firm guidelines that can help you on your way. They usually boil down to cost: whether it will cost you more in the long run to pay for a repair on an older system or invest in a new system instead of throwing good money after bad. There are two specific factors you should focus on to help make that decision.
1. The Warranty
Furnaces all come with a warranty that covers the cost of replacement parts for any of the system’s initial components. As long as the warranty is still in effect, you should almost always opt to repair the problem rather than replace the furnace, since you’re only paying for labor (and perhaps a few smaller components like nuts and bolts).
Even if the warranty has expired, you should still consider repairs over a replacement if the cost doesn’t get too high. (This is one of the reasons why we recommend regular maintenance for your furnace: it can reduce the cost and frequency of repairs later in the system’s life.) Only if costs become higher than what you feel the system is worth should you consider replacing the whole furnace.
2. The Cost
Costs involve one of two specific things:
- Repair Costs. In most cases, a replacement is necessary when a single repair cost rises higher than you feel the system is worth. Sometimes, however, it can mean less expensive repairs that occur over a short period of time: say more than two in a given 12-month period. Regardless, if you ultimately feel like repairing the old system won’t be as efficient a use of your money as buying a new one, it’s time for your existing furnace to go.
- Monthly Costs. Sometimes, it might not be a specific repair cost that causes you to replace your heater. Monthly costs will slowly go up as the furnace gets older and wear and tear take their toll. Eventually, the cost of running the system will be more than you feel the system as a whole is worth. That’s actually a good reason to schedule a furnace replacement now, in the heart of winter. Getting a new system helps you take advantage of improved efficiency and lower those monthly bills!
For furnace repair and replacement in Arlington, TX, call Earthwise Home Services today!