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How to Decide to Repair or Replace Your Furnace in Alexandria, VA

If your heater is giving you problems, you will need to make a decision on whether to either repair or replace it. How do you make this decision? In this article, we can give you some tips on whether you should repair or replace your heater in Alexandria, VA.

How Old Is Your Heater?

The average life expectancy of most furnaces is roughly 15-20 years. This should give you a good idea of where your heater is in its lifespan. If yours is below the 15-year mark, you should certainly consider how it has been performing and potentially extend the lifespan with timely repairs.

If your heater is older than 15 years, then you may want to start making plans for replacing it. Remember, that even at 16 years old, you may still have a well-functioning heater if you have maintained it properly. Newer technology can save utility costs due to efficiency, though, so you will be able to see some energy savings when you decide to make the switch.

As your furnace ages and you need to replace worn-out parts with newer parts, you may have difficulty finding parts for your “old” furnace. This could be another reason to replace your old heater.

Frequency of Repairs

How frequent are your repairs, and how much are you spending on them? If the sum of your annual repair costs is one-third or less of the cost of a new heater, then it often makes more financial sense to do the repair. However, if your repairs are costing you too much money, it’s probably time to consider a replacement.

Another factor to consider is that your repairs may not be making much difference. If your heater keeps breaking down, constant repairs may simply not be worth it.

The number of repairs is not the only telling factor; the frequency of repairs is important, too. If you have two repairs in a year, take a closer look at your heater. You can also ask one of our technicians to help with your decision.

Higher Than Normal Utility Bills

As your furnace ages, it simply won’t be as effective as a brand-new furnace. What this means is that your furnace will have to work harder and longer to achieve the same level of heat as it did before.

This translates to higher utility bills. If there isn’t any good reason for your higher-than-normal utility bill and there isn’t anything wrong with your furnace, besides age, then you might consider replacing it.

Your Furnace Is Leaking Carbon Monoxide

As old furnaces start wearing down, cracks may start to appear in the heat exchanger. These cracks may not always visible, which makes them even more dangerous. Be sure to have a carbon monoxide detector near the unit and test it regularly to make sure this deadly gas doesn’t invade your home.

You can visually check for signs of carbon monoxide, too. Check for rust on pipes and excess moisture on windows and walls. If you have a carbon monoxide leak and you can pinpoint the leak back to your furnace, you should replace your furnace as soon as possible.

Burner Flame Isn’t Blue Anymore

If your heating fuel source is gas or propane, one of the key ways to determine a properly functioning furnace is by looking at your burner flame. If your burner flame is yellow and not blue, call one of our technicians to take a look at it.

An experienced technician should be able to tell you if this is a repair issue or if you’ll need to replace your heater. A yellow flame means that your heater needs immediate service. It could be a faulty installation or there could be damage somewhere, so take quick measures to fix the problem.

Heater Makes Strange Noises

Old heaters have worn-out parts, and strange noises could simply mean the parts are deteriorating or there is a motor failure. Have a technician come out to look at it to determine if the problem is worth fixing or if you’ll need to replace the entire unit.

Strange noises could also be a signal of other issues which an experienced technician may be able to fix easily. So, don’t just assume you should replace your heater. It could be a minor problem.

Do you need to replace or repair your heater? Call Indoor Air Quality Medics Heating & Air Conditioning for professional repairs and installations. We offer 24/7 emergency services and have qualified NATE-certified technicians.

Image provided by iStock

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