An outdated furnace can cost you thousands of dollars over the course of several years. Sound like an exaggeration? Keep in mind that new furnaces bearing the Energy Star logo (meaning they exceed current energy efficiency standards) can be nearly 50% more efficient than older, outdated models.
Those savings add up to thousands in just a handful of years' worth of cold Cleveland winters.
3 Factors to Consider Before Replacing a Furnace
There are three considerations when determining whether a furnace is outdated.
1. Age. It's true that new furnaces can last for as long as 20 or 25 years if they're properly sized and well-maintained. However, this isn't the case for older furnaces. If your furnace is more than 15 years old, there's still a chance it's outdated. Even if it's running consistently, energy efficiency alone is a worthwhile reason to consider replacing it. If a furnace needs fairly regular repairs (outside of routine maintenance costs), that's another sign that it's past its prime. HVAC pros typically recommend replacing a furnace when recent and projected repair costs approach 50% of the cost of a new unit.
2. Energy efficiency. It's true that older models are less efficient, and this will show up in terms of increased heating costs, even after adjusting for price-hikes in fuel. However, there's another reason most old furnaces are outdated—they're the wrong size for the house. These days, HVAC technicians use very specific calculations to size a furnace specifically for the home. This wasn't the case even 10 or 15 years ago. One sign your furnace is the wrong size is "short cycling," where it turns on/off frequently. Another is that it simply doesn't heat the home regardless of how much it runs.
3. Notable symptoms. Other signs of an outdated furnace include uneven heating from room-to-room, or a screeching or whining sound when it's running. Constantly adjusting the thermostat to warm the house is another indication.
Think your home's furnace might be ready to retire? Schedule an on-site consultation with P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling, Inc.