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Important Questions to Ask When Replacing a Furnace

09/01/22

When properly maintained, a furnace can last 15 or 20 years. This is a big investment, but you get your money’s worth out of it.

That said, a furnace that’s nearing the end of its life can end up costing you. Constant repairs or breakdowns are inconvenient and raise your utility bills, which may have you wondering if it’s time to spring for a new unit.

Is it time for a new furnace? Here are some things to consider if you’re thinking of replacing a furnace.

What Type of Furnace Should I Get?

Furnaces are available in natural gas, oil, and electric models. Natural gas furnaces are common and the most energy efficient. They burn clean energy with a pilot light that ignites the gas inside, fueling the burners to heat your home.

Electric furnaces are also widely available. They have similar components to a natural gas furnace, but they don’t burn fuel. Instead, they use a blower to draw cool air inside the system and push heated air out.

Oil furnaces are usually found in older homes without ductwork, or in cooler climates. These furnaces use oil to convert to heat.

Can I Install a New Furnace on My Own?

Even if it seems simple, furnace installation or replacement isn’t something you should do on your own unless you have plumbing or HVAC knowledge. This task can be dangerous and complex, leading to problems. It’s always good to hire a professional HVAC technician to ensure the job is done right.

Image: the inside of a furnace. Replacing a furnace is a job best left for the pros.

How Do I Know It’s Time to Replace a Furnace?

Wondering if it’s time to replace your furnace? Here are some signs:

  • Your furnace is old: If your furnace has been running reliably for over a decade, it’s possible that it’s reaching the end of its lifespan. Maintenance goes a long way toward keeping your furnace going, but eventually, it’s going to struggle to heat your home efficiently.
  • You have constant repairs: An aging furnace will have problems that need repairs. Some are small and worthwhile, but others may be so expensive that you’d be better off getting an entirely new unit. The general rule is that repairs that equal about half the cost of a new furnace are a sign that it’s time to upgrade.
  • Your home isn’t comfortable: If your furnace is struggling to heat your home or you have rooms that are still cold, it could indicate that your furnace isn’t running efficiently. A new system is the better choice to keep your home comfortable with reasonable energy costs.
  • High energy bills: Furnaces take on stress over time, diminishing their efficiency. If you notice a spike in your energy bills with no reason, it could be a sign that your furnace is struggling to perform its job.

When is the Best Time of Year to Replace a Furnace?

Furnaces can be installed at any time of year. You may want to schedule your installation in the fall or spring, however, so you’re ready for heating season. The winter is a busy period for HVAC technicians, and they’re often called for emergency repairs or replacements, so you may have more difficulty getting an appointment.

Image: A calendar.

How Big Will My New Furnace Be?

Furnaces come in many sizes and efficiencies. The right furnace for your home depends on its size, climate, insulation, and other factors. An experienced HVAC technician can help you determine the right furnace for your home based on the heating loading calculation test. This evaluates your home’s air quality and circulation, which can help an HVAC technician choose the most efficient furnace.

Keep in mind that changes you’ve made can impact the furnace you need, such as adding rooms to your home, upgrading the windows and doors, or replacing insulation. This all impacts your furnace size.

How Much Does a New Furnace Cost?

Your furnace’s price depends on its size, type, and any supporting equipment you need like ductwork or ventilation. If you’re getting two furnaces to heat a larger home, this also impacts the cost and installation price.

Image: A young woman looks at her bills.

Should I Replace My Furnace and AC at the Same Time?

There’s no rule saying you have to replace both your furnace and your air conditioner at the same time. That said, if your air conditioner and furnace are around the same age, you may be better off replacing them both at the same time. Pairing an old air conditioner with a new furnace will place unnecessary wear on the internal components, shortening its lifespan.

Image: condensers being worked on by an HVAC tech.

How Long Does It Take to Install a New Furnace?

Typically, installing a new furnace takes about one day. If you need ventilation or ductwork, it could take a little bit longer for your installation.

Will my New Furnace be Energy Efficient?

An energy efficient furnace saves you a lot of money in energy bills. The annual fuel utilization efficiency, or AFUE, measures the efficiency of the furnace. The most energy efficient models have an AFUE of 90 or more.

Image: a furnace's pilot light and blue flames behind it.

If you need furnace installation, contact the pros at HELP to schedule your appointment!

Posted in: Heating

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