Written on: December 28, 2020
Can I Wait And Replace My Furnace Next Year?
It’s been a relatively mild winter so far, but you’re still relying on your oil furnace every day to keep you safe and comfortable. The question is, will your trusty equipment make it through the winter without incident – and is it worth fixing if you’re faced with a major heating system repair?
When A New Heating System Is A Good Idea
Choosing whether to repair or replace your furnace can sometimes be an easy decision – but not always. If you’re on the repair/replace fence, here are some questions to consider.
- How old is your furnace? If you’re having problems with a furnace that’s more than 10 years old, replacing it with a high efficiency model could be a smart choice, especially if your old one is showing signs of slowing down (rising fuel bills, more frequent service needed, etc.). If your furnace is younger than that, the choice becomes a little murkier. Here’s a rule of thumb: if a repair costs 50 percent or more of the replacement cost, it’s generally worth the upgrade – the older the equipment, the more sensible that replacement becomes.
- How is your furnace performing? Are you noticing that your furnace is having a harder time keeping your house warm than it used to – or that your bills are higher than usual even though heating oil prices haven’t changed very much? An old oil furnace could be operating at 60 percent efficiency or even less – which means that forty cents of every dollar you spend on fuel is doing something other than heating your house. Be on the lookout for strange odors and sounds coming from your furnace, too.
- How well has your furnace been maintained? If you’ve maintained your furnace properly since you bought it, it will likely last longer and encounter fewer big problems over the years. Just remember that while proper maintenance may help you delay replacing your system for a few years longer, no amount of maintenance will make your equipment more efficient than it was when you bought it – or more efficient than a new furnace.
- Is my current furnace safe? A 10-year-old furnace is more likely than a four- or five-year-old furnace to develop problems that could become safety hazards.
- Have my heating needs changed? If you’ve added space to your house without changing your furnace, the next breakdown you have could be caused by pushing your equipment to meet the demands of a new heating load – a problem that is likely to recur if you keep your old, undersized system in place.
- Am I planning to move? If you plan on moving in the next five years, replacing major heating equipment isn’t sensible, since you’re unlikely to recover the cost of your investment.
- Is my equipment still under warranty? If repairs are still covered under your manufacturer’s warranty, that tips the scales in favor or repairing your equipment. This is another reason why routine maintenance is so important: most warranties require it to keep your coverage in place!
The Bottom Line On Furnace Replacement
A furnace is a long-term investment – but even a well-maintained one won’t last forever. If you’re spotting any of the problems listed above, it could be time for furnace upgrade – especially if your equipment is into its second decade.
Not sure whether an oil furnace replacement can wait? We can help you make a smart choice! Contact the heating experts at Westmore today to learn more about furnace installations in CT and northern Westchester County, NY!