Should I Repair or Replace My Home Heating System?

Date: July 25, 2018

Engineer adjusting thermostat

The best way to take care of your home heating system is to get a tune-up every year. Much like your car, regular preventive maintenance goes a long way in extending the lifespan of your heating equipment. But even the best maintained heating equipment will eventually wear out.

You will then reach a point where repairs will cost more than they’re worth, since an old furnace will continue to have low fuel efficiency – along with poor performance and a greater chance for further breakdown.

So how do you determine whether to repair or replace your home heating system? Here are some guidelines.

  1. Consider the age of your heating system – If your heating system is more than 15 years old, you should consider replacing it soon. The average life span of a furnace is about 20 years old.
  2. Compare repair and replace costs – A new forced air furnace is a significant investment for your home. But repair costs can be high, too – and with a repair, you have to consider the possibility of the problem happening again in the future. Here’s a rule of thumb: if your heating system repair exceeds 50 percent of replacement costs – especially on an older unit – you should probably replace it.
  3. Consider system efficiency – Old heating systems burn more fuel because of their inefficiencies, which means you’ll get higher bills. An old heating unit could have an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of less than 70 percent. A replacement model can be 85% efficient or higher.
  4. Consider South Carolina oilheat rebates – Current rebates for energy efficient heating systems could save you hundreds of dollars on new equipment – perhaps enough to tip the scales in favor of replacement. Read more.
  5. Safety first, always – If your furnace has a cracked heat exchanger, it will release dangerous carbon monoxide into your home. If your heat exchanger is cracked, you should have the furnace replaced immediately. A cracked heat exchanger spells the end for your furnace.

There will come a time when replacing your home heating system will make more sense than repairing it. Read more about an equipment replacement and then reach out to your oilheat dealer for advice.