What to know prior to Replacing a Furnace

What to know prior to Replacing a Furnace

With good maintenance, the normal furnace can last 25 years or more. Since your furnace reaches the end of its life, it may break down frequently or function less efficiently, leading to costly repairs and improved utility bills. Before you replace your furnace, consider the heating capability, fuel supply and cost of each potential replacement option to get the right furnace for your home.

Signs Your Furnace is Out-Of-Date

Age alone is usually not sufficient reason to invest in a new furnace. Instead, look for signs that could help you determine if it’s time to replace your furnace. According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, any furnace that originally had a coal burner should be replaced, even if the burner had been previously altered to burn petroleum or gas. The council also suggests replacing your furnace if it’s equipped with a pilot lot as opposed to an electric ignition or even if it is not equipped with vent dampers. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests replacing your furnace if it takes regular repairs or your energy bills appear to be increasing for no great reason. A house that just doesn’t feel cozy and warm anymore or even a noisy heating system may also serve as notice that it’s time to get a new furnace.


When the furnace reaches the end of its life, it may be tempting to just order another unit with the exact same heat capability as your old one. Ordering a furnace that’s the exact same size as your old one may wind up costing you in terms of the upfront and operating costs. That’s because most furnaces are substantially oversized, based on ACEEE. Rather than basing your furnace size off of your house’s square footage, then choose a furnace provider that can allow you to size your new furnace in accordance with the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s Manual J. The manual serves as the industry standard for sizing residential heating systems. This technique requires examining the construction of your house, how well it is insulated and other factors that determine just how much heat capacity you’ll want to keep the home warm and cozy.

Efficiency and Payback

The normal furnace costs about $3,000 as of publication time, in accordance with The Old House. Understanding furnace efficiency ratings can help you decide on a new unit that will make it possible for you to recover this cost thanks to reduced energy bills. As an instance, if your present furnace has an efficiency rating of 80 percent and you replace it with one rated at 97 percent, you can cut your annual energy bills by 20 percent. Going out of a 65 percent efficient unit into a 95 percent efficient furnace can save you $32 for each $100 of heating costs, according to ACEEE. You can use this information to determine how long it will take you to pay for your new furnace and if choosing a high efficiency unit is well worth the additional cost.

Fuel Sources

Before you replace your existing gas furnace with a different gas-burning unit, consider the various heating fuel sources available on the market. Prices for gas, petroleum and other fossil fuels have a tendency to fluctuate, so it’s possible that the most inexpensive fuel accessible when you purchased your furnace is no longer the cheapest option. Compare prices and availability for various fuels, and take the time to check out new fuels that weren’t available in earlier times such as wood pellets. Pick a fuel that’s easy to get, great for the environment and affordable, then find a door designed to burn this fuel.

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