Think about it: you can replace a furnace with a new unit when all the HVAC contractors in New Albany experience a lighter business load. Or, you can wait until it completely fails under the strain of winter cold, when every last heating company is working at capacity.
When does a furnace typically fail? When it’s working its hardest during the coldest days (or nights) of winter.
How Much Does a New Furnace Cost?
Our policy is, we don’t really want to install a new heating system if it doesn’t make sense. On the other hand, we certainly would like to help you avoid the absolute worst time to buy a replacement furnace, in the middle of winter when you have no heat! When do you think you’ll get the best price?
This is a fairly frequent scenario. Most of our customers wait until their equipment is failing, or needs a major repair, that they decide to replace their furnace.
When is the right time to replace a furnace or a whole HVAC system? This is a question we hear frequently when servicing our customers’ homes around the New Albany area.
There is no simple black and white answer, but your situation might fit a particular category. You’ve probably heard the typical ad, barking “now is the time to buy!” but is that really true? Most homeowners seem to ignore that message, and wait until the heating system goes out. Our belief is that most consumers are good shoppers in today’s market, and it’s always our goal to help make a well-informed decision.
Three of the most common reasons homeowners suddenly want to replace an aged or worn out furnace are:
- age of the system
- high energy bills
- weird noises or strange smells coming from the furnace or AC
“Planned” vs. “Unplanned” HVAC Equipment Replacement
Even though it’s almost December, we’re not in the “I’ll freeze tonight without heat” season, as temperatures are still relatively mild. Now is actually a very good time to make the decision to replace your furnace without the added stress of keeping your family warm and comfortable.
Here’s a fair comparison: would you rather have a parachute before you jump out of a plane? Or make that decision on the way down? Hopefully you get the point.
If your gas furnace fails in the middle of extreme cold, you’ll feel pressure to make a quick (and expensive) decision. Or freeze to death and/or ruin your home. At that time, you’re at the mercy of any contractor who can install a new unit the quickest. There’s little opportunity to take your time, make comparisons, and make the correct decision. It’s also tempting to spend as little as possible on new HVAC equipment if you just want to get the heat turned back on. The laws of supply and demand dictate that every HVAC contractor must charge more during the winter. We suggest you don’t wait.
Planning a Furnace Purchase in New Albany, Ohio
When you, as a homeowner, plan for a replacement furnace, you have the opportunity to calmly evaluate solutions from multiple sources. More a systematic approach, this gives you ample time to research and evaluate newer technologies and other options to make a decision on the right package. And since prices are going to be lower, you’ll be able to afford a higher-efficiency furnace that can impact the future value of your home.
Review this checklist to see if your furnace meets any of these criteria for replacement:
- Furnace is more than 10 years old. There have been some solid advances in technology and efficiency in the past decade. But the useful life of a furnace is usually 10-15 years, when it’s been properly maintained.
- Utility bills seem unusually high (it’s just not running that efficiently any more)
- You’re not happy with the current comfort level. In other words, it’s not doing its job.
- How much longer are you planning to stay in the home
- What is the warranty on your current furnace? (are repairs covered by warranty)
It’s a little easier to make a 20-year life-affecting decision when there’s no time pressure, frostbite, frozen pipes, or an upset spouse.
Luckily, you can have your cake and eat it too. The first step in deciding if you should install a new furnace is to have one of our highly-qualified HVAC technicians perform a preseason furnace tune-up and safety check. Now, before the temperatures drop below freezing daily.
Our tech will determine if it’s possible or worthwhile to extend the life of your current system. We’re happy to get your furnace up and running, but you’ll probably be calling us back soon. There are plenty of parts on an aging furnace that can wear out or fail. You may find that rather than spend additional funds on frequent repairs may be better spent on a new heating system.
Cost vs. Age Guidelines
Our chart depicts a visual representation on whether you should repair or replace your furnace. As an example, let’s imagine your furnace is 13 years old and you need a blower motor replaced at a cost of about $475. It may be time to seriously consider replacing the complete unit.
Another way of looking at the issue is to compare it to buying a new car. Some people always want to own the newest, sexiest, highest tech automobile. Other people think more about being cost-effective and maintaining safety. You keep the car until it’s time to start dumping money into major repairs.
Unfortunately, some people drive their car until it falls apart. There the ones who are walking to work on the coldest days of the year.
Is Your Current Furnace Very Efficient?
Another important consideration when deciding whether or not to purchase a new furnace is whether the current equipment is actually a good fit, size-wise, for your home. Not every HVAC contractor gets this right, especially in new construction.
Many homeowners think if they buy a high-efficiency furnace, they’ll automatically reduce their energy bill. Even the highest efficiency-rated heaters can cost you more money to operate if they are improperly sized or installed. According to the US Department of Energy, improper installation and improperly sized HVAC equipment can waste as much as one-third of your energy consumption. So you can reduce your energy bills dramatically by installing the properly-sized, higher efficiency furnace.
At the very least, the best place to start in this process is to schedule a preseason furnace tune-up and safety check using our convenient online request form. Our highly qualified HVAC technicians will tell you if there’s trouble ahead for your system, when you’ll need it the most, when it’s freezing cold outside. Call