Should I Repair or Replace my Heating System?

If you keep experiencing problems with your heating system, eventually you’re going to ask yourself, “do I repair or replace this unit?” While you may think it’s easier to have a simple repair performed by your HVAC technician, sometimes it is more cost effective to replace your system entirely. Take a minute to think about the state of your heating system to decide if it’s better to repair or replace it.

Is my current heating unit still safe?

If the problem with your heating system results in a potential safety hazard, there should be no question: it’s time for a replacement. For example, if the heat exchanger in your furnace is cracked, harmful carbon monoxide can leak into your home’s air supply. Obviously, that is not something you want to risk happening. However, perhaps you just have a stuck valve. Since that doesn’t pose a threat to your family’s safety, you can simply have it repaired.

Heating systems usually have several warning signs before they breaks down. Stay warm and keep an eye out for these red flags:

Age: Furnaces typically have an average lifespan of between 16 and 20 years. When your furnace approaches this age, it is time to consider a replacement. The sticker on the inside panel will provide you with the date of manufacture, if you’re unsure how long that unit has been keeping you toasty!

Repair Frequency: If your heating system needed lots of repairs in the last couple of years, be prepared that a new unit could be in your future. Depending on the age of your unit and how often you have to repair it, replacing the unit entirely can  be much more cost effective.

Listen Up: If you start to notice unusual sounds coming from your furnace--like banging, rattling or squealing, that could be an indication that something is about to go wrong.

Rising Utility Bills: Check your gas and electric bills for increased usage. As heating systems age, the efficiency tends to decline, particularly with poor maintenance. The system will have to work harder, consuming more energy and raise your bills.  In addition to that, if you start to notice that some rooms are too warm while others are freezing or you are constantly changing the thermostat to stay comfortable, your unit isn’t working properly and it’s time to call in the professionals.

What is most cost effective for my heating unit?

Nine times out of ten, you will want to choose the most cost-effective route when deciding whether to repair or replace your heating system. The cost of a new heating system will depend on the size of your home and the type of unit you install.

A simple formula to estimate the financial practicality of repairing or replacing your system is: Multiply the cost of the repair times the age of the unit.  If the value is more than $5,000 it is probably a good idea to think about replacing.

When should I replace my heating unit?

According to Energy Star, there are certain telltale signs that indicate it is time to start thinking about replacing your unit:

  • Your heat pump is over ten years old.

  • Your furnace or boiler is over 15 years old.

  • Your heating system is noisy.

  • Some of your rooms are too hot or too cold.

  • You’re performing repairs frequently and your energy bills are still going up.

A.B. May has been serving Kansas City since 1959. When it comes time to repair or replace your heating system, you can trust the experts at A.B. May to provide you with the best solution to meet the needs of your home and your budget. Call us at 913-370-4898 for help with your heating system today.