One of the most frequently asked questions by homeowners is: when is it time to buy a new furnace? Many want to avoid this expense at all costs. This concern only makes sense—who doesn’t want to spend their money efficiently? Those who are caught in the cycle of repairing their furnace must beware of the sunk cost fallacy. It occurs when you keep investing resources because you’ve already done so in the past. For example, you may have paid for several repairs in the last year, but your furnace has broken down again. Rather than replace it, you decide to schedule another repair because you’ve already invested so much in fixing it the previous times. Sunk cost fallacy results in you losing more than you would have; you’re paying for more repairs, reduced performance, and higher utility bills. 

The question of whether to repair or replace your furnace doesn’t always have a clear-cut answer. Sometimes, you can’t afford a replacement—but the cost of repeated repairs can outweigh any potential savings. To help you with this decision, we’ve outlined the signs that point to either a repair or a replacement:

Signs that Your Furnace Needs a Repair

Many of us seek out a furnace repair before a replacement, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The issue arises when it becomes too costly to fix your furnace repeatedly; in some cases, a replacement is a wiser investment. There are signs that a repair is all you need. 

Answering this question involves a bit of math. How often are you repairing your furnace; is it an annual expense, or one that comes up every few months? If you calculate the total cost of all your bills, you might realize that you’re better off buying a new one. Even though it’s a bigger cost, it pays off when you can avoid repairs for years to come.

All components in a furnace experience wear and tear. At times, it’s not a big deal (or bill) to repair something here and there. Noticing strange noises coming from your furnace? An inspection can reveal that one part is responsible, like an unlevelled motor or other deterioration. These small fixes only cost a few hundred dollars, which is a drastic savings compared to the thousands you’ll pay for a new model. 

You should also consider the age of your furnace and its total lifespan. Most furnaces last between 15-20 years. At the 15-year point, you can expect more frequent problems. It will depend on how often your furnace is maintained; annual service will keep your furnace working better for longer. If your furnace is nearing the end of its life cycle, a repair may not be worth your while. Don’t wait until it’s too late, or you’ll end up with a freezing home in the middle of winter.

Signs that Your Furnace Needs a Replacement

Most homeowners dread the idea of a furnace replacement. They have enough bills to deal with, and paying thousands for a new furnace is the last resort. But when your system experiences problems, don’t overlook them. You could be costing yourself more down the line. 

There are telltale signs that your furnace is on its last legs. Pay attention to the heating distribution in your home. Is your bedroom toasty, but the living room, chilly? As long as you know it’s not an insulation issue, this indicates that your furnace can’t maintain consistent temperatures—it’s getting older and can’t keep up. 

All homeowners should have a gas detector installed in their house. This will pick up on any emissions of carbon monoxide, a gas that furnaces leak when the combustion chamber cracks. Breathing it in for long periods can cause death. If your furnace leaks carbon monoxide, don’t try to repair it—replace it ASAP for the health and safety of your family. 

If your furnace isn’t energy efficient, then it’s costing you more than it’s worth. Coupled with repair bills, higher energy usage translates to a furnace that keeps digging a bigger hole in your wallet. A repair won’t fix a rising energy bill; only a new model will upgrade the efficiency. 

Are you planning to sell your home? Buyers may be dissuaded by a furnace that’s past its lifecycle. They may ask for a lower price or withhold their bid altogether. A new furnace will be a selling point; buyers will know they won’t have to worry about repairs or low-efficiency. 

Finally, if you’re experiencing stress because you worry that your furnace will break down, consider a replacement. The cost of it is worth your peace of mind. 

How Provincial Can Help with Furnace Replacements

Replacing a furnace doesn’t have to be stressful and difficult. With the help of Provincial Heating & Cooling, this process is easier than ever. Our technicians have years of experience installing furnaces; once you select a model, we’ll take care of all the heavy lifting. We have a range of highly-efficient, competitively-priced furnaces for you to choose from. Make this winter season a memorable one (for all the right reasons) by purchasing a new furnace from Provincial Heating & Cooling.