Winter is coming to an end, and soon you won’t need the furnace in your house running at all. Not until late fall. But perhaps that furnace should never run again because this is the spring for it to retire and go into the recycling heap. Because furnaces don’t receive as much use as air conditioners in Texas, people often let older furnaces linger on when they should have replaced them years ago.
We’re going to help you understand if this is the spring to plan a furnace retirement (no, you don’t have to throw it a party) and arrange for new furnace installation in New Braunfels, TX.
Understanding Furnace Age
If you have a gas furnace, you can expect it to run for 15 years and sometimes more. Older cast iron furnaces could have longer service lives, but they were also massive energy wasters. The 15 years you receive from a higher efficiency furnace is a great return on investment. These modern furnaces can sometimes reach 20 years, but we don’t recommend trying to push one that far if there’s any indication it’s no longer working at peak condition. An older gas furnace does come at a higher risk of corrosion and cracked heat exchangers, which are safety concerns.
Electric furnaces can last up to 20 years without much difficulty because they don’t use combustion gas and burners, which means less stress and aging. However, if you are considering putting in a heat pump to replace both a furnace and air conditioner, it’s fine to replace an electric furnace between 10 to 20 years because the heat pump energy savings are worth it.
Furnace Performance and Efficiency
We recommend paying close attention to a furnace performance when it’s reaching the upper age range. If a furnace keeps parts of the house warm as usual, but not others, this is one of the big warnings of a system that’s in decline. Loss of capacity in a furnace appears first as uneven heating rather than a general drop in temperature—although that is also a big concern.
Loss of efficiency, which you’ll see as a rise in winter utility bills, is another retirement omen. A regularly maintained furnace is designed to retain its same efficiency (or 95% of it) until the end of its service life. When efficiency drops in an older furnace, it means that the end is approaching. The good news is a newer furnace will probably have a better efficiency rating than your current furnace did even when it was new. The standards for heater efficiency have risen over the past 15 years.
Know When a Repair Isn’t Worth It
The final way you know it’s time to say “goodbye” to a furnace is when you face a repair that will cost too much to justify. How much is “too much”? You can ask our technician—and they’ll volunteer the information if they think the cost is too steep. A good rule of thumb to follow is to retire a furnace if a new furnace will cost less than half the price of the repair.
Your comfort is our #1 priority at Thayer Air Conditioning! Ask us about a heating replacement if you think it’s time for your furnace to retire.