Repair Or Replace: What To Do With Your Furnace

Buying a new furnace for your home can be a significant investment. On average, a brand-new furnace can run you anywhere from $2250-$3800, but that price goes up even higher if you're opting for a geothermal heat pump or another system that is more elaborate. Still, considering that the cost of furnace repairs can be at least a few hundred dollars every single time you call a technician, it's worth considering whether or not you should just replace the unit altogether instead of having it fixed.

But how do you make that decision? Unfortunately, if you ask 10 different people, you'll get 10 different answers, so to help mitigate an already confusing process, we compiled a list of a few questions that you can ask yourself to help make the right decision.

How Old is Your System?

If maintained properly and repairs performed properly, a furnace should last you anywhere from 18 to 20 years. Not all systems will reach that mark however, and some will fail well below that time period. Even if it doesn't go out completely, you'll still be dealing with a number of repairs once it hits the 10 year mark, when repairs become both more frequent and more intense. If you know your furnace is already on the way out, it might make more financial sense to spring for a brand-new heating system installation than simply paying for more repairs.

How Expensive are the Repairs?

Even if your heating system isn't old, you can still be facing potentially major heating repairs that can add up in a hurry. A motor that has blown or a heating element that has gone out prematurely can both be significant expenses. In those situations, it may make more sense to schedule a furnace installation instead. A good rule of thumb is to consider the cost of the repair; if it's more than 50% the price of a new unit, replace it instead.

Do You Want to Upgrade?

Few people consider upgrading the furnace as high on their priority list, but today's units are so much more energy efficient than they used to be. They can not only provide better heating for your home but also do it in a more energy-efficient way. Not only that, but if you're looking to sell your home in the near future, you may be able to recoup some of the cost of a furnace installation in the resale value of the home. While few people will buy a home based on the furnace, many would be homebuyers will pass on buying house that has a decrepit unit simply because they don't want the hassle.