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The Opportunity Cost of Repairing an Old Furnace

Performing regular electric furnace maintenance is a great way to ensure that your furnace lasts for a long time, as it’s designed to.  There’s no doubt that’s a valuable investment. However, there will come a time when making repairs, performing routine maintenance, and other tasks aimed at prolonging the life of your home’s furnace simply won’t prevent the inevitable.

When your furnace reaches the end of its useful life, it can become more cost-effective for you to simply replace it rather than try to repair it. Here are some things to consider when deciding to repair or replace an aging furnace. 

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel cost is one of the most significant expenses related to your home’s heating system. Whether it’s electricity or gas, the amount of fuel required to heat your home should be as minimal as possible to get the most value for your money.  The higher the fuel efficiency rating of your furnace, the lower your fuel expense will be.  

As a furnace ages, the system becomes less efficient, and you will spend incrementally more each year to feed it as its efficiency decreases.  Essentially it needs to work longer to achieve the same output, which increases fuel consumption.  Newer furnaces with higher efficiency and multi-staged heat work less hard while delivering more heat to your home. 

Cost of Repair

As your furnace ages, it’s more prone to breaking down and requiring significant repairs.  Replacing a cracked heat exchanger, for example, can be half or more of the cost of a new furnace!  The system’s age and the advances in technology that have likely occurred since your furnace was first manufactured, sometimes conspire to make the cost of the repairs themselves prohibitively expensive.

It’s not unusual for continuous repairs of a failing older furnace to be a heavy burden on your finances.  With the wide availability of attractive financing options, the cost can be spread out and made manageable. 

Tax Credits

There is now widespread public interest in reducing the amount of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. So much so that the government often allows a tax credit as an incentive to consumers to purchase a higher efficiency furnace, thereby reducing emissions.  By continuing on with your old furnace, you may leave valuable tax credits on the table that could help offset the cost of a new unit. 

New furnaces generally have a smaller carbon footprint, due to their increased efficiency and improved methods of manufacture. However, if you forgo replacing your ailing furnace, you will miss out on these credits and also on helping protect the environment.

Full System Replacement

Was the air conditioner in your home installed at the same time as your furnace?  Most customers of ours take the opportunity to replace both units at the same time to increase overall system efficiency, take advantage of tax credits, to save on install costs, and to ensure compatibility between the devices.  That’s just something to ponder, it’s not required but it is recommended.  You would be putting a complete system warranty in place as well, which brings peace of mind. 

To find out more about when to replace versus repair an older furnace, or to receive a quote for electric furnace repair services in the Columbus, OH, area, call your friends at True North

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