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Furnace Repair versus Furnace Replacement

There comes a time when most homeowners have to decide to continue to repair and / or service their furnace or replace it with a new efficient furnace. Although it’s never easy to “pull the trigger” to install a new replacement furnace it is generally obvious with one or more factors determining the right choice for you to make.

Factors for Furnace Replacement

Age of Furnace

The age of your furnace is important for a couple of reasons.

  1. First, our furnaces in Calgary run constantly in the winter causing extensive wear and tear over time. Older furnaces need to be repaired more often and repairs can become expensive depending on which part(s) have failed.
  2. Second, new furnaces have become more energy efficient and as a result burn less natural gas (reducing your heating costs). A furnace that is 15 years or older may be 75% – 80% efficient while new furnaces have to be a minimum of 90% fuel efficient.

Generally speaking the average furnace will last or be reliable for 15 years.

When you take into account how often your furnace breaks down or the cost of the repair itself as well as the age of the furnace (and its efficiency rating) the decision to repair or replace becomes more obvious.

Use the chart below as a quick reference to determine if the repair cost and the age of your furnace necessitates furnace replacement.

Furnace Efficiency

Over the last 10-15 years technology has evolved whereby the efficiency has greatly improved and the greater the efficiency equals reduced fuel consumption resulting in lower energy costs. Now most consumers can’t afford to replace their furnace based on energy efficiency alone, however a new furnace will reduce your energy cost helping to pay for itself over time particularly if your furnace is older than 15 years.

In Canada the minimum fuel efficiency rating for furnaces is 90% and you can choose a furnace rated higher than that but you need to decide if the return on savings justifies a higher rated, more expensive furnace.

AFUE Rating

The AFUE Rating or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency measures the efficiency for fuel consumption by the furnace. Below you’ll see the approximate percentage of savings (on fuel) based on a furnace’s AFUE Rating.

AFUE rating savings chart for furnaces

Other Mitigating Factors for Furnace Replacement

There may be other factors for replacing your furnace. You’ll find some of these factors listed although we suggest you call for furnace service from a reputable HVAC company who will help you decide if replacement is recommended.

  1. Your furnaces’ heat exchanger is broken or cracked. This can be a very dangerous and necessitates replacement.
  2. Your furnace has become noisy. This may indicate the furnace is showing its age but it also may signal a part needs replacing.
  3. If your furnace shows signs of damage, rust or soot, you should have the unit inspected to ensure it’s operating safely and not posing any danger to you or your family members.
  4. The flame from the furnace burner is not blue (burning more of a yellow colour) is indicating the fuel is not burning cleanly or efficiently. Sometimes a flame that is not blue can mean incomplete combustion and the potential of gas leaking or carbon monoxide being generated within. Call for immediate servicing if you encounter this scenario.
  5. If your heating is cycling “on” and “off” more frequently it may be a sign that an electrical or circuit board or a furnace part is failing and the unit is trying to overcome it by cycling on more often to reach the desired temperature.
  6. If you are undergoing a home renovation for the basement it is recommended you replace your furnace if it is older than 10 years. It’s easier to move the old unit out and replace it without the concern of damaging walls or flooring. You may also be able to take advantage of extra space if your new unit is smaller than the old furnace.

Furnace Financing

We can help with financing options to get your new furnace replaced immediately.
We work with who try and take the hassle out of borrowing and make it simple to qualify.
They offer:

  • A quick and easy application process
  • 0% Financing available OAC

If you’re interested in financing or would just like to discuss what your options are for staying warm and comfortable contact us today.

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