Make it a great day by contacting WM Buffington

Your local, trusted service company in Central Pennsylvania since 1952

Should You Repair or Replace Your Furnace?

The chilly Pennsylvania weather hangs around longer than most of us would hope, but it's bound to be even less enjoyable with a broken furnace. Time and again, customers come to us wondering whether it is wiser to repair or replace their broken furnace, but the answer tends to be based on a variety of factors. 

If you’re in need of a new furnace install or a swift repair, or if you simply have a few questions about your heating system, WM Buffington is here to help. Here’s what our expert team has to say regarding a repair versus replacement. 

Things to Consider

There are several factors to consider when deciding on whether your ‘ole reliable’ furnace really is reliable anymore. First, you can start by asking yourself the following questions:

What is the age of your furnace? 

One of the most telling variables is the current age of your furnace. All heaters have different lifespans depending on the make and model, but a general rule to go by is that they tend to live for about 15 years. After this period, furnaces will likely still ‘work’ but they will continue to become far less effective and efficient. The closer your furnace is to reaching its age of retirement, it's more probable that a replacement will be the smarter choice over a repair. 

In recent years, furnaces have been developed to be incredibly energy efficient, transferring upwards of 98.5% of the energy they use into heat. If you have an older furnace or simply want the financial benefit of a high-efficiency furnace, it may be a good time for a replacement. 

How do the costs compare? 

Next, you’ll want to get a good understanding of the differences in cost between replacing your furnace and repairing it. It’s hard to determine whether your furnace needs one repair or if there are several more repairs likely in the coming years, but another decent rule to go by is whether the cost of a repair is more than 50% of the cost of a new furnace. 

If your furnace is only a few years old, chances are that the repair will last you a while and, depending on the severity, will not be too expensive. On the other hand, an older furnace is likely to run into even more problems, requiring even more repairs that tend to be a bit more costly. 

However, if the cost of repair is higher than the cost of a new furnace, there is no question that a replacement is the way to go. 

Will you be moving soon? 

Deciding whether to get a replacement or repair can be influenced by whether or not you will be moving soon, but it primarily depends on if it is a buyer’s or seller’s market. On one hand, replacing the furnace could be an incentive for potential buyers; if it is a seller’s market, however, this might be unnecessary. In the latter case, consider saving that money to put toward your down payment or getting a new furnace at your new home! 

How frequently has your furnace needed repairs? 

At some point, repairing your furnace may become more costly than replacing it. While finding a trustworthy heating repair specialist is important, the goal is not to see them too often. Subsequent repairs are likely an indication that your furnace is worn out, and it will probably lead to even more repairs and associated costs down the line - in this case, investing in a new furnace would be wise. 

However, if it’s the first time your furnace needs a repair, the repair is not too expensive, and your furnace is not too old, a repair should be sufficient. 

Signs of Degradation

It is important to note that if there are signs of degradation, like rust, an upgrade will most definitely be necessary for health and safety purposes. In relation to the above point on selling your home, if your furnace is showing signs of degradation, there’s a chance it will not pass inspection and will need to be replaced. 

Rust is the most common form of degradation as furnaces are often located in dark, moist basements. This rust will accelerate the breakdown of a furnace’s internal components. Keeping the area around your furnace clean and dry, therefore, is one way to ensure its longevity. 

Home Size and Additions

One thing that many people don’t realize is that furnaces are designed to cover a specific size of house or a certain amount of square footage. A particular furnace may have been the perfect solution for your home a few years ago, but if you’ve had your basement finished, your garage repurposed, or an extension added to your home, it’s likely that your current heating system will be insufficient. A furnace in an environment that is too big to handle will lead to temperature inconsistencies and higher-than-normal heating costs as it struggles to keep up. 

If this is the case for you, no repair will be able to fix the problem. The only solution is to invest in a new furnace install. 

Contact WM Buffington for Your Furnace Install

Heating maintenance and repairs are incredibly important for the health and safety of your family and the comfort of your home. Many situations may not so easily fall within the factors detailed above, in which case it’s always wise to contact a heating professional to consult on your specific circumstances. If you’re still not sure whether to repair or replace your furnace or if you’re ready to get started right away with a furnace install, you can rely on WM Buffington to do it right. We’ve helped homeowners in Harrisburg and all throughout Central Pennsylvania for over 70 years – so whether you need a new furnace or just need a simple repair, you can trust us to provide you with the reliable service you deserve. Call today to get a free estimate! 

Areas We Serve

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram