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Is It Time to Replace Your Old Furnace?

Posted on: October 3, 2016

As you do your fall preparations for the coming winter season, an important question to ask yourself is if you think your furnace can make it through the cold weather. If you’ve had the same gas furnace (the most common type of residential furnace) in your home for years, it may be at the age where it’s at a significantly higher risk of malfunctions, a breakdown, or even unsafe operation.

Let’s take a look at some of the criteria you can use to guide you toward a decision on “replace or not replace” for your furnace:

  • Basic Age: How long should a gas furnace last on average? Usually between 15 to 20 years, although if the furnace doesn’t receive annual maintenance, it will be less than that. Any furnace that is over 20 years old is entering a danger zone where a breakdown is much more likely, as well as a plunge in energy efficiency.
  • Operating Costs: Let’s look at energy efficiency a bit closer, since a decline is a major warning of a furnace that’s over the hill. A furnace should maintain 95% of its energy efficiency for most of its lifetime. This means that you shouldn’t see a significant change in the cost to run the furnace—until it’s entering the final stage of its service life. So if you have an aging furnace, compare your energy bills for the last few winters to see if there’s a noticeable change.
  • Mounting Repairs: A furnace will need the most repairs during the last two years of its lifespan. When you’re calling for repairs on a regular basis—more than once a season—then the furnace is sending you the signal that it’s almost done. If any single repair would cost half the price of putting in a new furnace, then go with a new furnace.

Schedule service for your gas furnace in Durham, NC today with the professionals at Bud Matthews Services.

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