It happens eventually in every home: on a frigid morning, you wake up and turn up the thermostat just like usual—but there’s no response. No comforting sound of the system firing up and no warmth rising from the radiators or air vents. Hopefully it’s a simple problem that’s a quick and inexpensive fix, like a tripped circuit breaker or a clogged filter. But occasionally the repair is so big and costly that it raises an age-old question that’s been asked about everything from the family car to the washing machine: Is it more cost effective to fix what you have or replace it? Here’s how to decide:
Think safety first
If the problem presents a safety hazard, replacement is inevitable.
Consider the typical lifespan
A 2007 study by the National Association of Home Builders found that furnaces for forced-air systems last an average of 15 to 20 years, and boilers for hot-water radiators and baseboards last 13 to 21 years.
Assess the costs of repairing versus replacing
To decide your system’s fate, you need more data to include the cost of your repair or replacement options. And this is where Dead River Company can assist. As a general guideline, consider replacement if the equipment is beyond three-quarters of its life expectancy and repairs will cost more than a third of replacement.
Consider your heating system’s efficiency
These days fuel costs and our carbon footprint are concern for many. A heating system's Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency number (AFUE) measures the percentage of the fuel that’s converted to heat rather than being lost up the chimney or through other inefficiencies. For instance, a furnace with an AFUE rating of 85 would mean that 85% of its fuel is translated into usable energy that can then be used to heat your home. The remaining 15% is lost through the exhaust. Today’s minimum AFUE is 80%, and some highly efficient propane central heating systems have AFUE up to 95%. The higher the AFUE your new system has, the greater the savings.
Our Expertise Means Greater Savings
Dead River Company's Residential Energy Advisor can guide you in your decision making process. Contact us today for more information.