What to Consider Before Replacing Your Furnace

If you’ve been suffering frequent furnace breakdowns or have been routinely having to make expensive repairs to your unit, it’s probably time you got the equipment replaced. But before you make the final decision, there are a few things you should consider.

Here is some information from an HVAC service in St. Louis, MO to help make your furnace replacement decision a more informed one.

Know if a repair won’t do the trick

Do you really need to replace your furnace altogether? This is a significant investment, so it’s important to be absolutely sure that a full-on replacement is in your best interest. In general, it’ll be a good idea to replace your furnace if it’s more than three quarters through its life expectancy and the repairs you’d need to make would cost more than a third of the cost of replacing it.

Most of the time, there will be a label on the furnace that indicates its manufacturer and installation dates. Furnaces last an average of 15 to 20 years, and maybe another five to 10 if the furnace is a high-quality brand and it has been regularly maintained.

Calculate the efficiency potential

Most standard furnaces today are about 80 percent efficient, meaning about 20 percent of the fuel energy goes up and out through the chimney. However, there are some furnaces that are up to 98.5 percent efficient. The number you’re looking for is the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. Having a super-efficient furnace can add $1,000 to $2,000 to the cost of the furnace, but could also result in some significant savings. Let’s say a 15 percent increase in AFUE saves you approximately $300 per year (if you’re paying about $2,000 per year to heat your home). If the added cost you pay for the furnace is $1,500, the efficiency will have paid for the extra price within five years, meaning you’ll save a significant amount of money if your furnace lasts you a total of 15 to 20 years.

Determine what you can do to lower your heating needs

If you already have a super-efficient furnace or don’t want to make that investment, you could consider adding insulation to your home. Adding insulation to your attic floor or spraying foam along the top of all foundation walls can be a good way to give your home some extra insulation. This is one of the best ways to decrease your heating needs and your reliance on your furnace, which will in turn help to extend your furnace’s lifespan.

Check your ducts

The ducts could be causing some of the inefficiency you experience with your furnace’s operation. You might have air escaping into the attic, basement or crawlspace. Improving the ducts by sealing up gaps and re-insulating them can be a good step to take, as can cleaning the ducts or other components of the HVAC system if they have a significant amount of debris.

For more information, contact Ashley Brothers Heating & Cooling to schedule HVAC service in St. Louis, MO.