Three Good Reasons to Replace a Gas Furnace



Indoor comfort for your family

No one gets excited about having to replace their gas furnace. However, the idea of freezing in your home isn’t too exciting either. Despite efforts to prolong its life, there may come a time when it is better to replace your furnace rather than repair it. The decision to replace your current gas furnace often depends on one, or a combination of, age, condition, and performance.1


Continuous Repairs


Perhaps you have been there!  You think your HVAC system is working well, only to have to call your professional licensed HVAC contractor again, and again and again for repair after repair. Even with proper maintenance and the dedicated efforts of a highly skilled HVAC contractor, an aging furnace may start to show its age.


Continuous repairs can get expensive for a homeowner. As discussed in “Eliminate Indoor Hypothermia - Furnace Repair or Furnace Replace?” you should determine your repair spending cut off point. If your repair estimate is close to your predetermined budget threshold, it may be best to start researching a new gas furnace before you experience a breakdown.


How expensive does a furnace repair need to be before it’s not worth repairing it? If key parts fail, such as the heat exchanger or control module, or repair costs are more than 50% of the cost of a new product, it may be better to replace the unit.2 However, you should always discuss repair vs replacement options with your HVAC technician to get a clearer assessment of the price tag of repairs and the predicted longevity of your existing gas furnace.


Heating and Comfort


The indoor comfort of your home and family is probably one of your highest priorities. Gas furnace systems can have a complicated arrangement of gas and electricity working together.  However, if one or more parts involved in delivering heat is damaged or not working as intended, your heating system has the potential to become a comfort hazard.


According to the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, older furnaces that do not comply with current standard codes may pose a higher risk due to their earlier technology. “Newer gas furnaces are equipped with many features that shut the furnace off when a problem is detected, but older furnaces may not have these devices. “3


Preventive maintenance and professional inspections are important aspects of the operation of your gas furnace.  While evaluating your gas furnace, an HVAC dealer may uncover small cracks, leaks, rust, rot, soot, frayed wires or corroded electrical contacts that can lead to furnace failure.


Energy Efficiency


Energy.gov estimates that heating and cooling account for up to half of a typical home’s total energy use. As a result, a homeowner should make every effort to increase the energy efficiency of their HVAC equipment.


To determine your home's annual energy use compared to similar homes in your area, Energystar.gov provides a simple online assessment tool. Energystar.gov suggests that a score below a five means that your home’s energy use “is above average and you're probably paying more than you need to on energy bills”.4


While there are a variety of reasons and potential fixes that can increase your energy efficiency, a licensed professional HVAC contractor may reveal that the AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) of your gas furnace may be the primary cause of these excessive costs.


An older gas furnace with an AFUE rating of 70% would mean that only 70% of its fuel is used to heat your home. The remaining 30% may escape through the chimney or exhaust. That means that up to 43% of the energy used to run your furnace may be wasted.  A high-efficiency model can offer higher AFUE ratings, potentially providing significant energy efficiency and savings on utilities.


While every homeowner’s HVAC situation and budget is unique, SmarterHouse.org, a project of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, states that replacing a furnace with a modern high-efficiency model may be a good investment.

cta-outline_stay-warm

 

1 Buying Tips. (n.d.). Retrieved Dec. 05, 2016, from Smarter House: http://smarterhouse.org/heating-systems/buying-tips

2 Gas Furnace Safety. (n.d.). Retrieved from AHRI: http://www.ahrinet.org/Homeowners/Improve-Safety/Gas-Furnace-Safety.aspx

3 Repair or Replace. (n.d.). Retrieved from Consumer Reports: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/02/repair-or-replace/index.htm

4 When is it Time to Replace? (n.d.). Retrieved from Energy Star: https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=heat_cool.pr_checklist_consumers