When Should You Replace a Furnace? | Scott Johnson

When Should You Replace a Furnace?

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Is your furnace getting older? Does it need lots of repairs? If so, then it may be time to replace it. Here’s a quick guide to knowing when is the right time to replace your home’s furnace.

How long does a furnace last?

A furnace can last up to sixteen (or even twenty) years. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends replacing a furnace at the twenty-year mark, when energy efficiency drops to approximately 78% AFUE (annual fuel efficiency)—or lower.

When do I need to replace my furnace?

If your furnace is experiencing any of these common issues, it probably needs to be replaced:

  • Uneven temperatures throughout the house—means the furnace is no longer working efficiently.
  • Rising energy bills—indicates that a furnace is losing efficiency.
  • Age older than twenty years—this is when the AFUE (annual fuel efficiency) drops below 78%.
  • Frequent repairs—if you’re spending 50%+ of the replacement cost on repairs every year, then it’s time to replace it.

How much does a new furnace cost?

According to a study by HomeAdvisor.com, most homeowners spend between $2,306-$5,575 on a new furnace—with the average national cost at $3,940. If you decide to buy a new furnace, don’t forget to factor in the cost of installation.

How important is efficiency?

Try to find a furnace with the highest AFUE (annual fuel efficiency) you can afford. Make sure it can heat the total square footage in your home (not just the first floor!). Top-performing furnaces receive the government’s Energy Star rating.

  • Mid-efficiency furnaces—operate at 80%-83% efficiency
  • High-efficiency furnaces—operate at 93%-97% efficiency

Do you have a home warranty?

A home warranty can help you with the expense of repairing (or replacing) a furnace. Many new homes come with a comprehensive warranty. Call your home warranty provider first to see if you have any furnace coverage or discounts available. (For example, every home listed for sale with ReeceNichols automatically comes with a FREE seller’s warranty from A.B. May, and the HomeWarranty PLUS program protects your house against any major issues—and includes a 15-point HVAC inspection, plus discounts for repairs).

Need a furnace repaired or replaced? Before you buy, check out theHomeWarranty PLUS program from our partner, A.B. May.