Furnaces are a big investment. You probably don't want to have to replace it prematurely. For that reason, it's important that you keep your furnace properly maintained by a professional. If you have been debating repairing vs. replacing your furnace, here's a quick guide on how you can decide what to do.
Minor Furnace Problems That Can Be Fixed
Furnaces are a major appliance in your home, and they can be complicated. As it gets older, some problems may begin to arise. There are several minor heating issues that homeowners face, and most of these problems are caused by simple things.
- Noises—A rattling, squeaking sound when the furnace turns on or off. This is usually just a loose part that needs to be tightened or replaced.
- Heating not turning on—The furnace doesn't turn on even when the thermostat is set to a higher temperature. This can be caused by low voltage, which can be fixed by checking the voltage from the breaker box and then resetting it if necessary.
- Wiring issues with the thermostat—The wires connecting the thermostat to the furnace may have been damaged during installation or over time, so hire an experienced professional to check these connections and repair them if necessary.
- Blocked air vent—Letting lint build up inside the air vents of your furnace will cause the system to work harder than it should. If that happens, you can expect the motor to wear out sooner than expected. Cleaning the vents is easy if you know how to do it properly.
- Dirty air filters—The filters of your furnace need regular cleaning. When dirt builds up on them, the system has to work harder, which will make it wear out faster.
- Blocked ducts—Ducts carry hot air from your furnace to different rooms throughout your home. If they get blocked with lint or debris, that hot air won't reach the rooms effectively, and the furnace blower will be strained to provide airflow.
There might be other major issues with your furnace that require repairs, or you might want to have it completely replaced.
Warning Signs of a Failing Furnace
The two biggest warning signs of a failing furnace are high energy bills and lower than usual heating output. If your monthly heating bill seems unusually high one month, you should have your furnace inspected by an HVAC specialist right away. If the cost to repair your furnace would be less than half the cost of a new one, it may be worthwhile to replace it instead of repairing it. Also, if your home is not as warm as it used to be when the temperature outside is below freezing, you should have your furnace checked out immediately.
The Costs of Repairs vs. Furnace Replacement
When it comes to heating systems, there is no doubt that the best way to save money is to avoid expensive repairs with replacements. If you have a system with many problems, you're probably better off replacing it. However, if you're just looking to replace a part like the air filter, repairing your system may be your best choice.
Understanding cost comparisons between repairing and replacing your furnace will lead to the correct decision for your home's heating needs. If you are having heating problems, contact a furnace repair service to get help identifying the problem and deciding if it needs to be replaced.