A question we get a lot around here is whether a customer should repair their broken furnace or just replace the unit entirely. It’s a valid question and can sometimes make big difference on your budget so here are a few things to consider when looking for answers to this important question.
The age of your furnace is probably the biggest factor here. An older furnace simply isn’t as efficient as newer models and replacing a broken down old furnace is probably going to save you more money in the long run than trying to fix it now, despite the higher initial cost. Oil heat furnaces generally last about 25 to 30 years so if you’re hitting the 15 to 20 year mark and having furnace issues you may want to look at replacing it instead of just a quick fix.
Something interesting to note is that because of the materials they’re made from oil heat systems last the longer than any other type of heating system like electric or natural gas. Other systems will often only make it to the 12 to 15 year mark compared to oil heat’s 30 years.
Another thing to consider with your furnace is what kind of damage needs to be repaired and whether it could adversely affect you and your family. For example a carbon monoxide leak from a cracked combustion chamber is cause to immediately replace your furnace so you don’t risk exposure.
Next, consider how often you’ve had to repair your furnace in the past. Have you had multiple costly repairs in the last few years? It might be worth replacing your unit instead of continuing to pay for repairs. Also the cost of those repairs and how the compare to the cost of a new furnace is worth investigating. If the cost of the repair is over half the cost of a replacement furnace you’re better off going with the replacement. For older furnaces the repair should be less than one third the cost of a replacement before you go ahead.
Finally, we can’t stress enough how important it is to have a certified and knowledgeable technician come by and check out your furnace before making a final decision. They’ll be able to give you a full report and advice on the best options for your system and budget.