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To Replace or Not to Replace? That Is the Annual Furnace Question

This is a topic we bring up at the start of each fall, because it’s important for homeowners to keep tabs on the furnaces that heat their homes through the winter. Each fall, you need to ask if your furnace will make it through the next winter in good shape, performing at high energy efficiency levels, and without safety concerns. Eventually, you will need to have the furnace replaced—no mechanical device can last forever—and maybe this is the year to schedule the replacement job with our HVAC professionals.

The Basic Questions to Ask Regarding Your Furnace

  • “How old is it?” The lifespan of a gas furnace (which is probably the type you have) is between 15 and 20 years. A furnace that’s celebrating its 20th birthday is also on the verge of starting to decline from all those years of wear and tear. We strongly recommend replacing any furnace that is more than 20 years old. Electric furnaces can last a few years longer.
  • “How much do I pay to repair it?” Excessive repair needs are a flashing warning sign that a furnace is entering into a steep downward fall that will not reverse. But what counts as excessive? There are a few gauges. Paying more than $500 a year in repairs is excessive. Any single repair that costs more than half the price of a replacement is excessive.
  • “Are my heating bills higher than ever before?” If a furnace receives the annual care it needs, it should retain 95% of its efficiency over most of its life. That means you can expect heating bills to stay roughly the same from winter to winter, not counting increases in the cost of fuel. When heating bills rise noticeably, it could be your furnace telling you it’s on its last go-round.

Red Rock Mechanical LLC has served Northwest Vermont and the Plattsburgh, NY area for over 23 years. Contact us for a professional opinion on replacing your furnace.

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