Should I Replace My 30 Year Old Furnace?
I’m sure it’s crossed your mind before. You ask yourself, “should I replace my 30-year-old furnace?” Maybe you wonder what to consider when answering this question. Will it make the house more comfortable? Perhaps save on utility bills? What about safety? This article will cover all of those things and hopefully provide some insight into whether or not a replacement might be for you.
The first thing that needs to be considered is if any major repairs have been done to the furnace over the last few years. If a repair was required, did it put a stop to continuous operation of at least six weeks, causing some degree of discomfort for your family while waiting for parts/labor? If your answer is no, continue. Flow-of-business will not allow a furnace to sit idle for very long without a constant stream of problems cropping up.
A second component to consider is the condition of the duct system (frequently referred to as ventilation). Does it need repair? Old, dirty filters are an indication that there could be problems with the airflow in some rooms. Those who suffer from allergies will probably notice that they aren’t as severe if all rooms receive adequate airflow. An often found initial cause of poor airflow is that one or more registers have been covered by furniture over time, either due to use or lack thereof (the house has changed hands between owners during the furnace’s life). Another reason could be simply accumulating years of dust and debris in the ductwork. This can become a fire hazard, in addition to a cooling efficiency problem.
If you qualify for point #3, it would be wise to consider replacement not only due to safety reasons but also for their potential side effects on your utility bills. A furnace at least 20-25% less efficient than current models will demand higher monthly utility payments from your budget simply because it runs longer and more often each day. In turn, this can cause a rise in humidity levels inside the home if central air conditioning isn’t used primarily during the summer months when outdoor temperatures are warmer. High humidity levels have been known to contribute to sicknesses such as sinus issues and respiratory infections, so it is wise to do whatever you can to keep your home’s air more efficient.
Let’s assume that all of the above is true for your situation. While some people might spend money out-of-pocket on repairs, it may not be the right choice if the furnace replacement cost is within reach. For those cases, there are several types of furnaces currently available for purchase on today’s market, so let’s take a look at what would work best for your house.