Should I Repair or Replace My Heater?
By: HVAC Philly
How Old Is Your Heater?
Your HVAC unit is similar to other appliances in many ways. For example, the more often it's used, the shorter its life expectancy.
It may be in heavy use due to the Philadelphia climate and therefore need replacing more often than usual. On the other hand, it may not see an extraordinary amount of duty per year but has been in use for a substantial number of years. In either case, it may be nearing the end of its working life.
No one can accurately predict the length of the working life of your heater. However, there are some statistics to keep in mind. It's a good idea to keep a close eye on any unit that's at least 15 years old.
According to a study by the National Association of Home Builders in conjunction with Bank of America, the average lifespan of a furnace that uses forced air is 15 to 20 years. The average boiler stays in service for 13 to 21 years.
How Often Does Your Heater Need Repair?
Do you have to call for heater repairs more frequently than you would think is reasonable? This is a major clue that the unit may need to be replaced.
Your heater should be serviced twice a year. If you have to request additional service calls, it might be cheaper to simply install a new unit. You may also decide to purchase a new heater if the technician repeatedly finds serious problems during his regularly scheduled visits.
Nevertheless, many homeowners will attempt to hang onto their HVAC units until the bitter end. Unfortunately, the heater tends to stop working completely on a bitterly cold day when you need it most.
Is Your Energy Bill Suspiciously High?
If you have an older unit, your heater may be responsible for your rising monthly utility bill.
Today's units use the latest technology to function more efficiently than older models. They use less energy while heating your environment much quicker.
So even if your present unit can be repaired, you might consider replacing it. The money saved on future utility bills will eventually make up for the cost of the new unit and possibly even put more money in your pocket.
Have the Heating Needs of Your House Changed?
What you need from your system today may vary greatly from what you needed at the time the unit was installed.
For example, what changes have you made to your home? Have you added additional living spaces? Maybe you enclosed a former carport or converted the basement into a spare bedroom. Did you transform the attic into a home office? The greater your livable square footage, the harder your system must work.
When your unit was new and your living space was smaller, your house stayed comfortable. But now that the unit is older and is required to heat more space, your house stays a bit too chilly in winter. In such cases, it pays to consider upgrading to a new unit that can easily service the entire house.