Investing in a new furnace is not a decision that should be taken lightly. With proper maintenance, a furnace can last up to 20 years, so you want to make sure you get the best one for your home.

However, if your furnace is nearing the end of its life, you could pay more for repairs than you would to simply replace the unit. If your utility bills are skyrocketing and nothing seems to work anymore, it might be time for an upgrade. Here are some things to consider when replacing a furnace.

What Type of Furnace Should I Get?

You can get a natural gas, oil, or electric furnace, depending on your home’s setup. Natural gas furnaces are the most common and the most energy-efficient. They burn clean energy and use a pilot light to ignite the gas inside, which fuels the burners to heat your home.

Electric furnaces are also available, which have similar components to a natural gas furnace. They don’t burn fuel, but they use a blower to bring cool air in and push heated air out.

Though uncommon, some older homes have oil furnaces. They’re often found in homes without ductwork or in areas where the winters are exceptionally cold. These furnaces convert oil to heat.

Can I Install a New Furnace on My Own?

Furnace installation isn’t a DIY project unless you have HVAC or plumbing experience. You could not only install it wrong and create problems, but improper installation could be dangerous. It’s best to hire a professional HVAC technician to make sure it’s done safely and properly.

How Do I Know It’s Time to Replace a Furnace?

Is it time to replace your furnace? Here’s how you can tell:
  • You have constant repairs: An older furnace may have minor issues happening all the time, costing a lot in repair bills. Of course, it’s good to pay for repairs to keep your furnace operating efficiently, but if the repairs start to add up to half of what a new furnace would cost, the better choice is to upgrade your unit.
  • Your furnace is nearing the end of its lifespan: If your furnace has been going for 15 or 20 years, it’s nearing the end of its life. Regular maintenance will keep your furnace running efficiently for a long time, but at some point, it will suffer the effects of age and may struggle to heat your home well.
  • You have high energy bills: Furnaces take stress over time, cutting into their efficiency. If you haven’t made any major changes but see a huge spike in your energy bills, it could indicate that your furnace isn’t able to keep up with the demand.
  • Your home is cold: If your furnace is struggling to heat your home evenly and you have rooms that are still cold, it could mean that it’s not running efficiently anymore. A new system will keep your home comfortable and avoid skyrocketing energy bills from an inefficient unit.

When is the Best Time of Year to Replace a Furnace?

You can install a furnace at any time of year, but it’s best to do so in the fall or spring. These are the off seasons when the demand for HVAC technicians is generally lower. In winter, HVAC technicians may be busy responding to emergency repairs or installations.

How Big Will My New Furnace Be?

Furnaces are available in different sizes and efficiency ratings. The right furnace for your home depends on its size, insulation, and other factors, as well as the climate you live in. An experienced HVAC technician can help you determine the best furnace for your home using a heating load calculation test, which evaluates your home’s circulation and air quality.

It’s not as simple as going by your old unit. If you’ve added to your home, upgraded the windows and doors, replaced insulation, or made similar changes, you may need a different furnace than you did in the past.

How Much Does a New Furnace Cost?

Furnaces can vary in price depending on the size and type. If you need additional work like ductwork or ventilation, it could raise the price. You may also pay more if your HVAC technician recommends using two furnaces to heat your home.

Should I Replace My Furnace and AC at the Same Time?

You don’t have to replace your furnace and air conditioner at the same time if you prefer, but it is a good practice. If you have an air conditioner and furnace that is around the same age, replacing them both gives you efficiency benefits. If you pair an old air conditioner with a new furnace, you’ll place extra stress on the shared internal components, shortening the lifespan of your new furnace.

How Long Does It Take to Install a New Furnace?

A new furnace installation or replacement takes about one day. If you need extra work, such as ductwork or ventilation, you could be looking at a few more days for installation.

Will My New Furnace Be Energy Efficient?

Energy-efficient furnaces save a lot in energy bills. The annual fuel utilization efficiency, or AFUE, measures the furnace efficiency. The most energy-efficient models have an AFUE of 90 or greater.

Looking to replace a furnace? Contact JW Plumbing, Heating and Air to schedule your appointment!

company icon