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Should I Repair or Replace My Furnace?

 Brrr! The winter Alberta chill is settling in, and suddenly, your furnace decides it’s the perfect time to start malfunctioning. We get it; no homeowner wants to deal with a failing heating system when all they want is to stay warm and comfortable in their home. So, here you are, stuck with two options – do you repair your old furnace for one more winter season, or is it time for a brand-new heating unit?

If this is something you’re currently contemplating, you’ve luckily come to the right place because the HVAC experts at Knight Plumbing are diving into this topic. From cost considerations to energy efficiency, join us as we navigate this debate so you can make the best choice for your home moving forward.

Get 24/7/365 on Furnace Services

 With over 50 years of industry experience, the team at Knight Plumbing is well-equipped to provide homeowners with high-quality HVAC services. We take pride in helping homeowners make the most out of their home comfort. No matter the size or scope of the project at hand, you can rest assured knowing we’ve got your back.

 At Knight Plumbing, we understand that your furnace can break down at any time throughout the day or night, which is why our certified HVAC technicians are available for repairs and maintenance services 24/7/365 days a year. That includes after-hours, weekends, and holidays at no extra cost to you—ever!

 Furthermore, if your furnace is deemed irreparable by one of our repair technicians, they will happily schedule an at-home consultation appointment for you with one of our home comfort advisors. During your consultation appointment, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a home comfort advisor who will help you choose a new heating system based on your needs and budget for a customized result. We’ll also give you more information regarding our current discounts and financing options that can help you save big on your new purchase.

All consultation appointments include a complimentary new system purchase quote as well! Call and speak with one of our friendly team members to schedule your appointment, or use our online booking form. 

What is the average life of a furnace?

 Furnaces typically have a service lifespan of 15 to 30 years on average, but many of them can survive up to 25 years with good maintenance. However, a number of variables, including the furnace’s quality, maintenance practices, and local environment, can affect its actual lifespan. 

Maintaining your furnace on a regular basis will help it last longer and function more effectively. Setting up yearly professional examinations and tune-ups is a proactive way to identify possible concerns before they become serious ones that will be more damaging and costly to repair. HVAC specialists can repair worn-out parts, clean and examine essential components, and improve the furnace’s overall performance during these maintenance sessions on an annual basis.

 Moreover, timely repairs are just as crucial. Promptly addressing abnormal noises, decreased heating efficiency, or other indications of a dysfunctional furnace may prevent additional harm and prolong the appliance’s service life. Ignoring issues or putting off maintenance might cause further damage and may even necessitate an early replacement, which no homeowner wants to deal with.

 To maintain the optimal functioning of their furnace, homeowners can undertake a few easy tasks in addition to hiring a professional technician. Small but significant efforts to maintain a healthy heating system include changing air filters on a regular basis, making sure there is adequate ventilation, and clearing any debris from the space surrounding the furnace.

 Remember that a properly maintained furnace not only lasts longer but also runs more effectively, which could result in lower energy costs for you in the long run. So, whether your furnace is approaching the two-decade mark or you’ve just installed a new unit, regular maintenance and timely furnace repairs are crucial to keeping your home comfortable and warm for years to come, especially during those frigid Alberta winters when home heating is imperative to your health and safety.

How do you know when it’s time to replace your furnace?

 Knowing when to say goodbye to your furnace can be confusing, especially if you have no idea what it is you’re supposed to be looking for in the first place. Unfortunately, your home’s furnace doesn’t come with a flashing sign that says, “It’s time for an upgrade!” So, how exactly are you supposed to know when your home’s furnace just isn’t cutting it anymore? Well, there’s actually a ton of signs that can indicate your furnace is having difficulties heating your home. Let’s take a closer look at some of these red flags in more detail below:

·  The age of your furnace: Your furnace’s age has a significant role in deciding how reliable and efficient it is. Furnaces may begin to malfunction more frequently as they get closer to the 15–20-year mark since a number of parts can start to wear out. An aging furnace’s deterioration can make it more susceptible to malfunctions even with routine maintenance, which lowers the furnace’s overall efficiency in heating your home.

·  Energy efficiency: In comparison to more current models, older furnaces frequently have lower efficiency ratings. Newer versions of heating systems with improved efficiency thanks to advances in technology mean lower energy usage and cheaper energy costs each month (aka more money in your pocket). Your old furnace may not be working as efficiently as it once did if you’ve observed a consistent rise in your heating expenses, which could mean that it’s time to consider an upgrade. 

·  Frequent repairs: Although routine maintenance is necessary for every furnace, an ongoing pattern of regular malfunctions and repairs might be a direct sign that a system is getting close to the end of its useful life. Over time, wear and tear on the furnace components can push repair costs to the point where it may be more cost-effective to purchase a new heating system entirely rather than keep fixing the current one when problems occur.

·  More expensive heating bills: Decreasing efficiency can often be attributed to an older furnace and rising heating expenses. An aging furnace may find it more challenging to keep the correct temperature, which could result in longer working cycles and higher energy usage. Not only may switching to a newer, more energy-efficient model lower your monthly expenses, but it can also offer more dependable and consistent warmth throughout the wintertime. 

·  Uneven heating in your home: A furnace’s capacity to disperse heat throughout your house more unevenly may be a sign of fundamental issues. Some rooms may feel cooler than others due to aging furnaces’ inability to maintain a constant temperature. This inconsistent warmth may indicate that essential parts, like the heat exchanger or blower, aren’t operating at their best.

·  Strange noises: If your home’s furnace is making strange noises, such as rattling, screeching, or banging, these could be signs of internal mechanical issues. These sounds could be the result of worn-out parts or problems with the ignition system of the furnace. While many cases can be fixed with repairs, loud noises that don’t go away could mean that the furnace is about to break.

·  Carbon monoxide concerns: A furnace’s damaged heat exchanger or the existence of carbon monoxide poses serious safety risks. The odourless, colourless gas known as carbon monoxide has the potential to be fatal. In the event that your furnace exhibits symptoms of a malfunction that may cause carbon monoxide to leak, like a fractured heat exchanger, you should evacuate your home and call a professional for an examination and any necessary repairs or a replacement as soon as possible.

·  Home renovations: Your current furnace may not be able to keep up with the additional demand for heating if you have big plans to add on or renovate your house. Larger or recently expanded sections may not be adequately heated by older furnaces, which can cause discomfort and increase energy costs. A stronger and more efficient furnace upgrade helps guarantee that your heating system keeps up with your home’s evolving needs.

·  New model features: Upgrading to a newer model could come with features like smart thermostats, zoning systems, and better air quality control, in addition to increased energy efficiency. It may make sense to replace your outdated furnace if you value these additional features that can enhance your indoor comfort.

As you can see, there are numerous signs that could indicate it’s time to upgrade your home’s furnace with a brand-new model. That said, speaking with a licensed HVAC specialist is crucial before deciding to move forward. We suggest reaching out to the team at Knight Plumbing to schedule a consultation appointment with a home comfort advisor. They may evaluate the state of your existing furnace, offer professional guidance, and assist you in deciding if a repair or replacement is the best option for your unique circumstances.

Should I repair or replace my 15-year-old furnace?

 Deciding whether to repair or replace your home’s 15-year-old furnace can be tricky and involves numerous factors. Let’s take a closer look at some of these factors to consider in more detail below:

·  Repair frequency and cost: Assess the past few years’ worth of repairs. It may be worthwhile to consider repairs if, during its 15-year lifespan, your furnace has operated largely trouble-free and only needs minor repairs. However, it can be an indication that the furnace is nearing the end of its useful life if you’re experiencing frequent malfunctions or if the expense of repairs is increasing.

·  Energy efficiency: When compared to more recent types, older furnaces typically have a lower energy efficiency. With their higher Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings, newer furnaces are able to heat your home more effectively. Replacing the furnace with a more energy-efficient one might be a smart investment if your objective is to save energy costs and have a more sustainable heating system.

·  Heating bills: Take note of a trend in your bills. If your energy bills have been steadily increasing, it may be a sign that your old furnace is having trouble running smoothly. By consuming less energy, switching to a newer model can eventually result in cost savings that outweigh the original expense.

·  Comfort and performance: Evaluate how comfortable your house is. Inconsistent temperatures, uncomfortable spots in the house, or uneven heating could indicate that your furnace isn’t operating at its best. A new furnace can improve overall comfort by offering more dependable warmth.

·  Long-term costs: Determine potential long-term expenses. Even while a repair could seem more economical in the short run, it’s essential to consider the long-term condition of your furnace, the possibility of additional repairs, and higher energy costs. Although a new furnace could cost more upfront, there might be long-term cost savings and increased dependability.

What you should do:

1. Professional assessment: Have your furnace thoroughly inspected by a licensed HVAC technician. They will be able to evaluate its general state, spot possible problems, and offer a quote for any required repairs. Determining whether it is feasible to repair the current furnace depends on the results of this examination.

2. Long-term planning: Think about the future you have in mind for your residence. Investing in a new furnace can give long-term comfort and energy savings if you want to remain in your current home for a number of years. To prolong the life of the current furnace, you can choose to make more urgent and inexpensive repairs if you plan to move soon.

If my heating bill is going up, should I repair my furnace? 

 Your furnace may not be working as efficiently as it should if your heating costs are rising despite changes in your heating habits. Therefore, before calling a repair technician, here are some troubleshooting steps you can take:  

·  Check for obvious signs: Verify that your furnace is free of any evident problems by looking for visual damage, odd noises, or odd smells.

·  Examine the air filters: Unclean or clogged air filters might cause your furnace to operate less efficiently, which will increase the amount of energy it uses. Examine the air filters and swap them out if necessary.

·  Schedule professional maintenance: To keep your furnace operating at its best, it’s essential that you schedule regular professional care. A skilled expert can make sure your furnace is working efficiently by checking and cleaning its parts and spotting possible problems. If it’s been over a year since your last appointment, booking a maintenance appointment may do the trick.

·  Think about how old your furnace is: Your furnace might not be as efficient as newer models if it is getting older. Additionally, older furnaces may be more prone to malfunctions. Sometimes, it could be more cost-effective to purchase a brand-new, energy-efficient furnace than to keep up with expensive maintenance.

 The choice to replace or repair your furnace ultimately comes down to a number of factors, such as the age of the appliance, the severity of the problems, and your long-term heating requirements. To find out what options are available, it’s best to schedule an appointment with a repair professional.

What usually fails on a furnace? 

Your furnace is made up of numerous different parts that work together to heat your home. And because of this, when your system is not taken care of correctly, it can become prone to issues. Here is a closer look at some of the most common problems a furnace may experience:

·  Ignition system issues: A malfunctioning pilot light or electronic ignition can cause problems with the ignition system, which can prevent a furnace from starting or heating. 

·  Thermostat errors: Broken thermostats can result in issues with temperature regulation, which can cause inconsistent heating or a total failure to turn on.

·  Dirty filter: A dirty or clogged air filter can hinder airflow, making the furnace work harder and less effectively.

·  Issues with blower motors: The blower motor is in charge of spreading hot air. If this part fails, there may not be sufficient air circulation or no heat distribution.

·  Bad limit switch: When the furnace’s inside temperature rises too high, the limit switch is supposed to shut it off. The system may malfunction and shut down early or not start at all.

·  Gas valve issues: When there is not enough fuel in the furnace, it cannot ignite and provide heat. This is caused by problems with the gas valve.

·  Broken heat exchanger: Because a fractured heat exchanger might produce carbon monoxide, this is a potentially dangerous situation. This is a serious safety issue that needs to be addressed right away.

·  Problems with the flame sensor: If the flame sensor isn’t working correctly, it can lead to the furnace shutting down soon after it starts.

·  Ductwork leaks: Heat loss from leaks or improperly sealed ducts can lower the furnace’s overall efficiency.

·  Wear and tear on belts and bearings: The blower assembly’s belts and bearings may eventually wear out, causing malfunctions and odd noises.

·  Electronic malfunctions: The control board controls how the furnace operates. Problems may lead to inefficient cycling or a total system breakdown.

·  Issues with the pilot light or electronic igniter: In furnaces equipped with one of these devices, malfunctions may arise that prevent the ignition process from effectively completing.

The majority of these problems can be avoided with routine maintenance and timely fixes. It’s recommended that you get assistance from a qualified HVAC technician for a comprehensive inspection and necessary repairs.

What time of year is the cheapest to replace a furnace?

The cheapest time to replace a furnace is typically during the off-season, when demand for heating is lower. The ideal time frame is usually late spring or early summer, following the end of the winter heating season and before the arrival of lower fall temperatures, increasing the demand for heating services. Here’s a closer look at why:

·  Off-season demand: Since fewer people are actively using their heating systems during the warmer months, HVAC professionals typically have less work at this time. Due to the decreased demand, labour expenses may be reduced, and new furnace installations may see price reductions.

·  Discounts and promotions: To get clients and fill their calendars, HVAC businesses may run specials or discounts during the off-season. This may present a chance to benefit from labour and equipment cost savings, which can help offset the upfront costs of a new furnace.

·  Flexible scheduling: During the off-peak season, HVAC companies are more likely to have flexible scheduling. You might not have to wait around for a long time to select an installation date that works for you.

It’s crucial to remember that although late spring and early summer are typically regarded as the off-season, the precise dates may change based on where you live and the local climate. To guarantee that your house is comfortable when the colder months arrive, it’s usually a good idea to make plans ahead of time and arrange furnace replacement before the heating season begins.

Remember that availability and costs can change depending on the market conditions in your region. To guarantee you receive the most return on your investment, seek quotations from many reliable HVAC providers to find one that comfortably falls within your budget. 

 At Knight Plumbing, we believe that HVAC equipment and services should be affordable for all homeowners. This is precisely why we are more than happy to accommodate your needs every step of the way. To help you with the cost of your new furnace, you’ll be excited to know that we offer numerous discounts and financing options that can offset the initial expense of a new system!

 If you live in the Cochrane, Airdrie, Chestermere, Okotoks, Black Diamon, Bragg Creek, Calgary, or surrounding areas, we welcome you to schedule a consultation appointment with us at any time for a complimentary new system purchase quote!

What is the most expensive part to replace in a furnace?

Although the cost of repairing furnace components will differ, the heat exchanger tends to be one of the costliest parts to replace. An essential component of a furnace is the heat exchanger, which converts heat from the furnace’s combustion chamber into the air that flows around your house. Over time, the heat exchange mechanism may experience cracks or other problems as a result of many factors, such as rusting, wear and tear, or design faults.

 A heat exchanger’s replacement is a complex and time-consuming procedure that only a certified HVAC technician can perform. Ultimately, the cost can be high, and if the furnace is old and additional parts are expected to break soon after, it may be more cost-effective in certain situations to replace the entire unit instead.

The igniter, electronic control module, and blower motor are additional parts in a furnace that can be costly to replace. Additionally, the brand and type of the furnace can also affect the cost of replacement parts and the total cost of repair.

All in all, if you’re experiencing issues with your furnace, it’s advisable to consult with a licensed HVAC professional like the ones at Knight Plumbing. A member of our team can assess the condition of your furnace, identify the problem parts, and provide guidance on whether repair or replacement is the most cost-effective solution for you and your budget!

Will a new furnace lower home insurance?

 Depending on a number of variables and the specifications of certain insurance companies, the effect of installing a new furnace on house insurance rates will vary. Generally speaking, replacing an old furnace with a new, more efficient model may lessen the chance of specific accidents or damage, which may result in cheaper insurance costs. Compared to older types, newer furnaces are frequently safer and less likely to malfunction when taken care of correctly. 

 It’s recommended that you get in touch with your insurance company to find out if replacing your furnace will affect your home insurance rates. They can tell you about the possible effects of particular home changes or upgrades on your coverage and premium costs. Remember that every insurance provider may have different policies and standards for setting premiums; thus, the effects may differ.

If you are looking to schedule an appointment with Knight Plumbing in Cochrane, Airdrie, Chestermere, Okotoks, Black Diamond, Bragg Creek, Calgary, or the surrounding areas, know that our team of certified HVAC technicians is here to accommodate your needs! We’re available 24/7/365 days a year, including after-hours, weekends, and holidays, at no extra cost for all repairs and maintenance services!

 If you’re in the market for a new furnace, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation appointment with one of our home comfort advisors to learn more about the options available to you. We’ll also give you the inside scoop about our current discounts and flexible financing that can help you save money on your new equipment.

 Better yet, all homeowners who meet with a home comfort advisor will also receive a complimentary new system purchase estimate. Book your appointment with us online or use our convenient online booking form.