Repair or Replace? When to Upgrade Your Heating System

By jairadmin
In February 26, 2018

A furnace is a major appliance and the health of a heating system is fundamental to the comfort in your home or building. Replacing your outdated, inefficient heating system with a new one can seem like an overwhelming project, but when it comes to long-term savings, it’s important to know when it’s time to upgrade. If your heating system is over the age of 10 years old or is regularly malfunctioning, it’s time to ask the question: should I repair it or replace it? Here are some important considerations from the Johnson Air heating experts to help you decide to invest in repairs or a new furnace.

Deciding Factors


Most furnaces are considered outdated if they are 10 years or older. The anticipated average life expectancy of a furnace is approximately 16 and 20 years. There are several risks associated with older furnaces, including frequent repairs, carbon monoxide poisoning, breakdowns, house fires and higher energy bills.

Energy Efficiency

Outdated heating systems require more gas or electricity to create heat. Replacing your furnace with a more energy efficient system will lower your energy bills significantly, and you could see return on investment (ROI) in as little as 2 years. You can calculate your new heating system’s ROI with Energy Star’s Cash Flow Calculator.

Johnson Air Tip: Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) tells you what percentage of fuel consumed by your furnace, water heater or boiler is used to heat your home and what percentage is being wasted. The higher the AFUE number, the greater the efficiency. To make sure you are not overpaying for the fuel used by your heating system, call a licensed HVAC contractor. A professional technician will perform an inspection of your heating and ventilation and relay your AFUE rating.

Comparing Costs

When you can’t avoid the “repair or replace” question any longer, it makes sense to first compare the cost of repairs versus the cost of a new system. Most home or building owners turn to the basic rule of thumb: if repairs cost no more than 30% of a new heating system, than paying for the repairs are worth it. But you should factor in age, operation and energy efficiency. For example, the older your system is, the less you should pay for the repairs so that it makes financial sense. If your furnace is considered outdated (10+ years), requires frequent repairs or you have high energy bills, the cost of a new system can save you long-term.

Answering the Repair or Replace Question

The best way to answer the “repair or replace” question is to have a licensed, HVAC professional perform an inspection of your heating system. It could turn out that your furnace’s performance could be significantly enhanced by other means outside of your heating system. An inspection will be able to tell you if the problems you are experiencing is caused by your ventilation, thermostat or the furnace itself. The results of an inspection can give you the exact information you need to accurately compare costs.

Free Heating System Assessment

We believe in upfront pricing and free estimates. When you use Johnson Air for your HVAC replacement needs, we provide a complete evaluation of your HVAC system, consultation and written estimates at no cost.

Johnson Air offers a discounted total system cleaning AND inspection including an AFUE assessment for $99



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