With an average lifespan of about 16 years, a furnace is the workhorse of the home. It’s the largest energy expense for most homes, according to energy.gov. That’s why it’s important to check if you could be saving money over time by investing in a newer higher-efficiency furnace.
Before any other advice, we recommend you look at the pilot light on your furnace. It should be a blue cone-shaped arc with just a tip of orange at the end. If most of it looks orange, it could be a sign your furnace is nearing the end of its life and also mean it has a higher risk for a carbon-monoxide leak. Please call us right away if this is happening.
Keep Repair Costs in Check
Time Magazine suggests replacing your furnace if it’s past three-quarters of its life expectancy where needing a repair that would cost more than one third of its’ replacement cost. As your furnace experiences wear and tear over time, it will need more repairs, and switching to a newer furnace could end up costing less if many repairs or costly repairs are needed.
Add it up
Most furnaces today run at about 80% efficiency, meaning about 20% of the energy fuel escapes the home. To check efficiency, look at the AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) tag on a furnace. You can do a price comparison by taking the amount you spend each year on heating with your current furnace and subtracting the new efficiency savings of a newer furnace. For example, if you spent $2,500 a year on heating and have a 70% AFUE rated furnace and switched to an 85% rated furnace, you’d save about 15% on heating costs, or $375 per year. That means, if you know you’ll be in your home for a while, you’ll save money over time by making the change.
When you look at furnaces, you can get a standard 80% efficiency rated furnace all the way up to a 98.5% efficiency furnace for $1,000 – $2,000 more. Using the AFUE scores will help you be able to calculate what makes the most sense for your home. And if you don’t enjoy crunching the numbers, we will be happy to help you run through different options to see what makes the most sense for your needs.
Wrap Your Home in Warmth
Another key part of your furnace replacement decision should be making sure your ducts and insulation are doing their part to keep your home warm in the winter. You can get a home energy audit to check how your home performs. We can help by sealing the ducts from your furnace, which might even allow you to buy a smaller furnace to fit your home needs.
These tips should help you get started but we are ready to help you with all the details and make furnace replacement in Redmond, WA simple! Call us today at 206-775-8020 and we’ll take a look!