All furnaces age and eventually require replacement. However, replacing a furnace requires thousands of dollars, and you most likely want to avoid it unless it is necessary. It is important to know if your aging furnace can be repaired, or if it is time to replace it. Below are signs that you should consider a replacement.
Cracked Heat Exchanger
The heat exchanger is a set of metal tubes that transfer heat from the furnace burners to the air. The transfer setup prevents combustion gases from contaminating the air that circulates in your house. Although your furnace may run with a cracked heat exchanger, you should not continue to use it in that state. The cracks allow dangerous combustion gases to contaminate your indoor air.
Replacing a heat exchanger might cost you a few thousand dollars. The replacement might cost more than half the price of a new furnace. That kind of investment doesn't make sense for an old furnace that is nearing the end of its lifespan.
Many furnaces experience failing parts and malfunctions as they age. For example, the blower motor might fail, the ignition system might lose its efficiency, and the burners might begin to leak fuel. An occasional malfunction is understandable. However, frequent malfunctions cost a lot of money in repairs and calls for the furnace's replacement.
The furnace affects your indoor air quality (IAQ) in several ways. For example:
- The furnace's heating action regulates your indoor temperature
- The furnace's air filter determines the amount of air contaminates in your house
- The furnace's condensation can affect indoor humidity and trigger mold growth
- The furnace's combustion products can leak into your indoor air
The risks of the above effects increase with aging furnaces. For example, inefficient combustion processes increase the risk of exhaust leaks in the house. Impaired IAQ is bad for your health. Consider furnace replacement if piecemeal repairs and service cannot improve the IAQ.
The furnace's main function is to warm your house. Thus, you probably need a new furnace if the current one does not keep you warm, and you cannot easily diagnose or fix the cause. Wear and tear, corrosion, and leaks all contribute to reduced heating efficiency over time. When the heating efficiency falls, the energy efficiency also starts to fall. Energy inefficiency occurs because the furnace overworks to keep your house warm.
Plan your furnace replacement so a breakdown doesn't surprise you. Otherwise, you might be without heat if the furnace fails when the weather is freezing. Contact a local furnace services company today!