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Do You Need a New Furnace This Fall?

AC-units-in-scrapyardIn our last blog post, we brought up the need to plan heating maintenance during the fall. The fall is now officially here, and we hope you’ve already gotten on our schedule through our Bob Mims Maintenance Agreement to have your furnace inspected and tuned-up. If you haven’t, no time like the present! It’s still early in the season and you should have no difficulty arranging for a convenient time with our skilled HVAC maintenance pros.

There is another important fall heating preparation you may need to make. It’s not an annual prep like maintenance, but it’s essential you know when it must be done—and it’s replacing an aging furnace in Staten Island, NY.

How Long Should a Furnace Last?

This is the first question to ask when trying to decide about whether to replace a furnace during the fall. Most homes in the area use natural gas furnaces, which are more powerful and less expensive to operate than electric furnaces. The average lifespans of gas furnaces can vary widely. In some cases, a furnace can last up to 40 years—but this is extremely rare, and we don’t recommend trying to push a furnace to those limits. In general, expect your gas furnace to last 15 years or longer if you had it maintained every year.

A few other factors affect the longevity of a furnace. Poor original installation can lead to ventilation issues that will age the furnace faster. (Always, always schedule a heating installation or replacement with licensed professionals.) You’re still probably looking at a 15 to 25-year service life for a gas furnace.

Getting a More Solid Answer About Replacement

As you probably guessed from reading the above, age isn’t an absolute determinant of when a furnace needs to be replaced. You may have a furnace that’s 15 years old that still runs fine, but replacing it with a new higher-efficiency unit will provide you with better long-term savings. A furnace that’s 20 years old is probably a low-efficiency model that wastes energy each time it runs, so no matter how reliably it still runs, it’s better to have it replaced.

Another way to tell if a furnace is ready for the scrapheap is when it next needs repairs. Apply the 50% Rule—which means if any repair is more than 50% of the cost of replacing the furnace, it’s not worth it to do the repair.

Ask a Technician For Advice During Maintenance

The most straightforward way to get answers about a furnace replacement is to ask an HVAC expert. The timing is right, since this is the season to schedule maintenance. When one of our Bob Mims maintenance technicians comes to your house, ask them for an opinion about how well the system is operating, how many years of life it has left, and if it’s still cost-effective to keep it. You can trust our technicians for honest answers—they want to make sure you are satisfied with your heating and receive the right services each time.

Schedule service to find out more about furnace replacement. Bob Mims Heating & Air Conditioning has served Staten Island’s Heating and A/C needs since 1955.

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