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Touchstone Heating & Air Inc. Blog

When Is It Time to Stop Repairs and Get a New Home Heating System?

home-basement-furnaceWhen winters are freezing cold and having a heating system is a basic part of survival, the question of when to get a new heater is an urgent one that people tend to think about long before the blizzards strike. Obviously, we don’t have the same kind of problem here in North Central Florida, where our winters are mild. But in ways, this makes the question about whether to replace a heater or keep repairing it trickier. No matter how often you use your heater, at some point, you’ll need to retire it because continuing with repairs is more costly.

We’re going to look into the “heating replacement vs. heating repair” in Lacrosse, FL question. You don’t have to make the final decision alone—call us and we’ll give you the expert advice you need, as well as whatever service is best for your future heating.

How old is the heating system?

This is the first thing you need to know to help make a decision. If you aren’t sure how old the heater is, its manufacture date will either be just inside the furnace panel or on the back of the external cabinet of a heat pump. If you don’t see the manufacture date there, write down the serial numbers; the date is encoded in it, and you can call us to find out how old the system is.

So what is “too old”? It depends on the type of heating system. Heat pumps can last between 10 to 15 years, and because they also work in the summer as air conditioners, they see enormous amounts of use. Gas furnaces can last around 15 years, and electric furnaces may reach 20 years. 

How often and how recently have you needed to repair it?

If repairs are frequent and you’ve gotten to know our repair people on a first-name basis, then it’s likely you’re doing too many. A heater shouldn’t need to be repaired more than once a year, and if it’s consistently needing to be repaired every year, you are probably sinking too much money into it.

How expensive are the repairs?

There’s a simple rule of thumb, “The Rule of 5,000,” that can help you determine if a repair is too expensive. Multiply the estimated cost of the repair by the age in years of the heater. If the product is greater than 5,000, you’re probably better off replacing the heater. Another metric is that any repair that costs more than half the price of a new system is too expensive.

Are heating bills rising?

The last two years of a heating system’s life is when it will begin to see a drop in its energy efficiency. As a result, you’ll see a rise in your heating bills. If you’ve noticed this over the last year, than this year is a good year to replace.

Is heating even around the house?

A major sign of an older heater that’s starting to fail is when it can no longer provide even heating around the rooms of your home. Those cold spots are telling you it’s time for a new system.

You can trust our technicians to provide you with honest answers about the best way forward with your heating system.

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