Winter is only a few months away in the Metro-East region, and you may be wondering if it’s time to replace your furnace. Before rushing out to look at furnaces, do the math to see if buying a new unit makes financial sense.
Before replacing a furnace, you should first evaluate the efficiency of your current unit. Inefficient furnaces mean higher utility bills and more maintenance costs. Some factors that could indicate the need to replace your furnace include:
- The furnace’s age: A well-maintained furnace can last up to 25 years. Energy Star recommends upgrading units more than 15 years old as they probably don’t meet current efficiency standards. Furnaces older than this should be replaced.
- Uneven heating: If some rooms in your house are too hot or cold, it means your furnace isn’t doing its job to keep your home at consistent temperature.
- Excessive noise: If your furnace makes a lot of noise, it isn’t running well. You might just need a precision tune-up but excessive racket could be a sign of a more serious problem and the need to replace.
A Simple Equation
If your furnace is less than 10 years old, heats well and seems to be in good shape, you might still benefit from a newer, more energy efficient furnace, especially if your current unit isn’t Energy Star rated.
To figure out the return on your investment in a new system, determine how much money a more energy-efficient system would save you on your bill each month. If it’s 20 percent, for example, add up your utility bills for last winter, multiply by 20 percent and divide by the cost of installing a new system. The number you get is the number of years it will take to get back your investment through savings in your utility bill. Of course don’t forget to take tax credits, utility rebates, and manufacturer rebates into account. If this number is too high, it’s not time to replace your furnace.
Before the cold weather sets in the Edwardsville area, give Ernst Heating & Cooling a call to talk about your furnace.