Heating Repairs or Heating Replacement?
Charleston is known for its hot, humid climate, but as we all know, winters can actually be quite cold, making a household heater or furnace an indispensible amenity for local homeowners. No one wants to go without a working furnace, an experience which can be downright miserable on a chilly winter night. If your heater seems to need repairs all too often, you may find yourself wondering: should you call for heating repairs, or simply replace your furnace or heater entirely? Heating repairs can be costly, but a new furnace can run thousands of dollars, making repairs far more affordable. However, if your aging furnace needs frequent repairs, it could be more cost-effective in the longer term to go ahead and replace it. Whether it needs to be replaced can depend on its age, its condition, and how often it breaks down. Here’s what you’ll want to think about when you’re deciding between heating repairs and replacement.
- The age of your heater. The age of your heater affects how much it will cost to repair. Like most appliances, even a top-of-the-line heater, boiler, or furnace has a limited life span. Most units will last for around 10 to 15 years, sometimes as long as 20 years. However, one day, the time will come to replace it. An older furnace has lost up to 35% of its original efficiency, which translates into higher heating bills. Although new furnaces aren’t cheap, replacing it could actually prove less expensive in the long run than your high heating bills and the cost of frequent repairs.
- How often you’ve been needing heating repairs. If this is the first time your heater has stopped working, or it goes years between breakdowns, it’s probably not time to replace it yet. However, if its seems like you constantly need heating repairs, you should probably consider just replacing your furnace entirely. Usually heaters need the most repairs during the last two years of their life span, so chances are, a constantly malfunctioning heater is on its last legs.
- Whether your heater is losing efficiency. If your aging heater or furnace isn’t working as efficiently as it used to, replacing it might be worth the cost. There are several telltale problems that indicate that it might need to be replaced. Your house may feel like it’s heating unevenly, with some rooms colder than others. Your heating bills might also keep going up, even though you’re using the exact same amount of energy as you were before. If so, start looking at new furnaces.
- How much heating repairs will cost. The cost of heating repairs is usually far less than the cost of a replacement. However, one useful rule of thumb is this: if repairs cost more than a third of what it would cost to replace it, then heating repairs aren’t worth it. A new furnace can cost as much as $5000, so in most cases, it’s far cheaper to have it repaired. However, eventually, the costs of frequent heating repairs will outstrip the cost of simply buying a new one.