With all the Government stipends and tax credits available for purchasing a high-efficiency furnace, it would seem like there’s no better time than now to buy an upgrade. Granted that’s the case if your heating system is approaching the end of its life cycle at 15-20 years of age but what if the HVAC unit is working perfectly? There’s a definite slippery slope on replacing a gas furnace before it dies out but here’s our attempt to answer those questions:
Heating Doesn’t Mean Working…Technically
Just because a furnace kicks on and spews out warm out doesn’t mean it’s technically working soundly. After all the thermostat may be cranked up to 30° just to get the gas furnace to cycle on, and it may be operating more often than it should be. You may find that some rooms are barely getting any heat compared to the rest of the house, and your gas bills are likely sky high. Older or malfunctioning gas furnaces are likely operating somewhere around the 55-60% efficiency area whereas a new unit could run at 85-90% or more.
What Are The Costs?
Have your heating bills looked fairly consistent over the past decade? Have the number of call to the HVAC company outside of routine annual inspections been pretty infrequent? If the answer is yes to both question, you are probably better off staying with your current heating unit.
On the other hand, how many parts have you replaced in the past three years? Have you seen a significant spike in your annual gas bill outside rate hikes? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, and it feels like duct tape and thumb tacks are holding your furnace together, then it’s probably best just to cut ties and upgrade. You will likely be saving money from day one.
New Gas Furnaces Are Nicer
The modern technologies in a gas furnace make them a comfort to own, outside the lower utility prices. For instance, variable speed blowers keep the temperature at a constant level, and there are fewer cycle times. Plus newer systems are quieter compared to old models, and you’ll enjoy spending less monthly after the initial install.
If You Do Replace…
One of the biggest downfalls in removing a gas furnace is its impact on the environment and specifically landfills. If you know of an HVAC professional in your neighborhood, see if they’ll help you with a side job to tear down the gas furnace into as many pieces as possible.
The reason you’ll want a professional is to remove all the dangerous fuel and electrical connections. Plus, an HVAC technician may be able to save any parts that are in good condition so at least a part of your furnace can live on – kind of like an organ donor program. A gas furnace in parts is easier to dispose of, but you should still check with local authorities on the proper way to get rid of the old unit as some require a hazardous material disposal.
You may shed a tear as your old furnace makes its exit but know it’s in a better place…as is your wallet.