Hiring an HVAC technician to repair your furnace has always been the more affordable route in the past. However, there are some cases in which it's more affordable—and more logical—to replace your furnace instead of continuing to shell out money for repairs. If your furnace currently suffers from one of these issues, then it's time to begin thinking about getting a replacement from a place like HomeSmart From Xcel Energy.
The furnace that you installed in your home years ago may have seemed like an ideal appliance at the time. However, several things have changed over the years—including your lifestyle. For this reason, you may find that your current furnace lacks features that now seem like more of a necessity than a luxury.
For example, if your furnace must be manually activated, then chances are you're tired of coming home to a house that has only grown colder since you drove away several hours earlier. In this instance, upgrading to a furnace system that uses a programmable thermostat not only makes your life more comfortable, but decreases your overall heating costs as well.
Instead of having to heat your entire home twice a day, a programmable thermostat can heat your home just once and easily maintain the selected temperature by activating your furnace for short periods of time.
In addition to lifestyle changes, your local utility costs may have changed over the course of the past several years. Although natural gas may have been more affordable than other energy sources at the time of your current furnace's installation, new energy sources in your area may have significantly reduced the cost of electric or oil heating.
In such a case, the initial cost of installing a replacement furnace that uses a different energy source will likely be negated over the course of your new furnace's lifespan simply by using a more affordable type of energy. If you're leaning towards repairing your furnace, check your local utility company's gas, oil, and electricity prices before doing so—you may just find that repairing your existing furnace will end up costing you more money in the long run.
Failing Heat Exchanger
Furnaces don't last forever. Although you can (and have) always replaced the failing components inside your furnace, certain components are simply too expensive to repair once they become significantly worn.
One of the most vital components of your gas furnace is your heat exchanger. While your furnace is active, your exchanger traps and ventilates the toxic fumes created by your burner assembly. However, once your exchanger begins to develop cracks as a result of metal fatigue, it will cost a large amount of money to replace it.
Not only must your technician spend hours performing the labor required to remove and replace your exchanger, but you must also hand over the money to purchase a replacement exchanger since exchangers cannot be repaired.
When your heat exchanger becomes fatigued, it signals that there are other issues with your current heating system. Fatigued exchangers typically occur due to improper duct sizing or restricted airflow at some point throughout your ventilation system.
Additionally, a cracked heat exchanger typically doesn't occur until your furnace is already nearing the end of its manufacturer's estimated lifespan. Once your exchanger is cracked, you can expect several other components of your furnace to fail within the near future.
If your current furnace no longer suits your needs, or if your furnace has developed a fatigued exchanger, then don't let the sticker shock of a new furnace fool you. The cost of an efficient replacement furnace can easily be offset by factory and energy rebates, tax credits, and a reduced monthly heating bill.