Should you ever replace a piece of HVAC equipment that still works? It depends! If you have an aging furnace, you might wonder if it's time to send that outdated heater packing, but the upfront cost of a new installation can be daunting. Still, it's often possible to save money (and frustration) by taking proactive action and replacing your furnace before it finally fails.
If your furnace is getting close to the upper range of its expected lifespan, it's worth considering these four reasons to replace it now instead of waiting for it to breathe its last breath.
Older furnaces are not inherently less safe than new furnaces, but furnaces are more likely to suffer heat exchanger failures as they age. A cracked heat exchanger will leak dangerous exhaust gases into your home and may even allow these gases into your ductwork. While you can usually avoid these problems with frequent inspections, replacing very old or poorly maintained furnaces is often safer.
Nearly all older furnaces use single-stage burners and blowers. A single-stage furnace works by turning on and off, with no ability to vary its temperature. Since these furnaces need to run at full blast, they tend to produce inconsistent temperatures and swings between hot and cold. Installing a new furnace with a multi-stage burner and blower can create more even and consistent temperatures.
3. Energy Efficiency
Older furnaces are nearly always less efficient than modern models due to more lax regulations in the past and normal wear and tear. Even a standard-efficiency modern furnace will often offer better fuel efficiency than older models, especially after decades of usage. Installing a newer, more modern furnace can save you substantial money on your monthly utility bills.
Note that a trained HVAC technician can perform a combustion test to determine your existing furnace's efficiency. This test can help you determine if a newer furnace will offer a significant efficiency boost, even if you don't have any information about your current model's manufacturer-rated efficiency.
There's nothing wrong with keeping old hardware operational, but there's a point where maintaining an aging furnace can become more trouble than it's worth. Even if the heat exchanger doesn't fail, you may need to spend much more money on repairs and maintenance than you would with a newer model. The result may be spending as much as you would on a replacement, with none of the other benefits.
If you've noticed your furnace becoming more and more costly to maintain as it ages, it's well worth considering a replacement. You'll save money on future repairs while enjoying a more comfortable and energy-efficient home. To learn more, contact HVAC contractors.