When is it Time to Replace my Furnace?

At some point in time most Toronto area homeowners will need to replace their furnace. However, it’s not always easy to tell when exactly the right time to do so is. The average furnace lives for anywhere between 18 and 20 years before it starts to become ineffective and costly. If the furnace was professionally maintained throughout its lifetime it may last a little longer.

Once the unit starts breaking down and it costs more to run, you may want to consider replacing it within a year or two. In many cases, the money it costs to repair an older furnace would be put to better use by going towards a new one.

This usually depends on the age of the furnace and the cost of a new one. A good rule of thumb to go by is if the furnace repairs cost 50 percent of the price of a new furnace then you’d be better off buying a new one.

However, if the repairs are less expensive and the furnace is under 20 years old you may want to hold off for the time being. If the furnace is on its last legs though and close to 20 years old it’s generally a good idea to replace it as it may start to break down on a regular basis. This is true even if the repair costs are only 10 percent of the price of a newer model.

Your furnace may still have a few years of life left in it, but if the heating bills have risen dramatically then you may end up saving a considerable amount of money by replacing it. You can calculate a furnace’s efficiency rating in percentage by using a system known as AFUE.

For example, if the furnace has an 85 percent AFUE it means 85 percent of the fuel is being used to heat the home while the other 15 percent is actually being wasted by going up the flue pipe.

Therefore, you’re only getting 85 cents worth of value for each dollar spent on your heating bill. The key is to have the highest efficiency furnace possible. If you upgrade from a 65 percent AFUE furnace to a 90 percent model you will save $25 for every $100 spent on heating bills.

The savings realized from a high-efficiency furnace often leads Toronto area homeowners do replace their furnace sooner rather than later. When you combine the age of the furnace with the repair costs and its energy efficiency, you’ll have a better idea of whether or not to go with a newer model. You may also want to conduct an energy audit on your home to reduce the heating load of the furnace.

You may find that some inexpensive upgrades such as added insulation and/or weather stripping could keep your home warmer and your heating costs down.

In addition, you may also be able to replace the standard pilot light on a furnace with an electronic ignition as well as seal the ductwork joints.

For more information and tips on your heating system please feel free to contact our team of professional technicians us at your convenience at Lloyd HVAC Services.