A furnace is like any other major appliance: while you might wish it could last forever and always work perfectly, the truth is that it will encounter problems at some point, and it will eventually need to be replaced. But unlike some other appliances, a furnace is truly necessary for your comfort and even, during the coldest winter weather, for your safety.
You can’t just hope for the best–eventually, you’ll need to make a choice that will keep your home safe and cozy. How can you tell whether the cost of a furnace repair is worth it, or whether it’s so expensive that you should replace the furnace instead? Here are some tips.
The first thing to consider is not actually the repair that is needed, but the age of your furnace. If it’s gas, you can expect it to last around 10-15 years, and if it’s electric, it may run for a little longer. As your furnace nears the end of that life expectancy, any repair becomes more of a gamble than an investment, as you know that nothing you do will keep it running for much longer.
Those lifespan estimates are based on furnaces that have received professional maintenance every year. If your furnace has only had maintenance sporadically, or not at all, its lifespan could be shortened by several years. In this case, you should think of your furnace as being, in effect, older than it is.
We’ll assume that right now, your furnace is in need of a significant repair. Is this the first time such a thing has happened? Or has your furnace often needed repairs, even if they tend to be smaller? How about the frequency? Have repairs been needed more and more often in recent years? This is an indicator that your furnace is on its way out.
Weighing These Factors Together
While these details are interesting and informative, they don’t really answer your question of whether it’s worth it to have this specific repair done on your particular furnace. How can you make this determination? Here are two different metrics you can try out to help you evaluate your exact situation.
- The $5000 Rule: Multiply the age of your furnace by the estimated cost of the needed repair. If the answer is over 5000, replace the furnace. So a ten-year-old furnace is worth repairing if the cost would be $400 (10×400=4000) but not worth repairing if the cost would be $600 (10×600=6000).
- The 50% Rule: Research the cost of replacing your furnace. If the repair it needs costs as much as 50% or more of a new furnace, it would be a better investment to purchase a replacement. But if the repair cost would equal a smaller percentage of a new furnace’s pricetag, you’re better off getting furnace repair in Bellaire, TX.
If you need more information in order to make your decision, we’d be happy to answer your questions.
Reach out to Cool Care Heating and Air Conditioning, The Best Care for Your Air.