Should I Repair or Replace My Old Heating System?

Written on: September 13, 2021

Knowing When to Replace Instead of Repair Can Save You Money

heating installation new yorkIt’s time-proven advice: the best way to take care of your heating system is to get an annual tune-up.

Professional heating repairs can go a long way in extending the lifespan of your heating equipment. But even the best maintained boiler or furnace will eventually break down.

And since older equipment is less efficient, repairs will start to cost more than they’re worth: along with poor performance there’s a greater chance for further breakdowns.

How do you decide whether to repair or replace your home heating system? Here are some guidelines.

Factors to Consider

Check the age of your heating system – The metal identification plate on your furnace or boiler lists the serial and model numbers of your heater; send us the info and we can tell you the date of manufacture. If your heating system is more than 12-15 years old, you should consider replacing it.

Compare repair and replace costs – A new hot air furnace or boiler is a significant investment for your home. To protect your investment, we recommend a service plan: Like health insurance for your furnace or boiler, it provides preventive care to keep your equipment running better, longer, and also helps cover costs when breakdowns do happen. Here’s a rule of thumb: If the cost of your heating system repair exceeds 50 percent of replacement costs – especially on an older unit – you should probably replace it.

Consider system efficiency – Old heating systems burn fuel to make up for inefficient operation, which means you’ll get higher bills and increase the carbon footprint of your home. An old heating unit could have an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of less than 70 percent – at least 10 percent lower than a replacement model (some gas furnace models come with AFUE as high as 95).

Add up tax incentives and manufacturer rebates – Current Federal and state tax incentives and manufacturer rebates for energy efficient heating systems could save you hundreds on new equipment – perhaps enough to tip the scales in favor or replacement.

Safety first, always – If your furnace has a cracked heat exchanger, it will release dangerous – or even deadly – carbon monoxide into your home. If your heat exchanger is cracked, you should have the furnace replaced immediately.

There will come a time when replacing your home heating system will make more sense than repairing it. If you need help to determine if you’ve reached that point, give us a call today.