The seasons will soon be changing once again, the leaves will begin to don their most colorful attire, the kids heading back to school, so naturally thoughts are beginning to turn to – furnaces. Every homeowner will, sooner or later, have to decide whether to repair or replace their furnace. It’s a decision that can be tough to make and depends on several factors.

First a homeowner has to be aware of the telltale signs that their furnace might be in need of repair or replacement. A rise in gas and electric bills, temperature fluctuations between rooms, excessive dust build up, noisy furnace operation, humidity problems, a yellow flame in the burner rather than blue, an increase in illness or a general feeling of malaise in family members, can all be signs of a malfunctioning, and possibly dangerous, furnace. If any of these symptoms are present it’s essential that a professional be consulted to assess the problem.

So once problems begin to arise, the question remains, repair or replace? Here are some things to take into account before you make a decision:

  • Consider the age of the unit. Most estimates of furnace life expectancy range between 10 and 20 years, but the general consensus among experts is that if a unit is more than 10 years old it’s a strong argument in favor of replacement. Consider reading High Performance HVAC Heating and Cooling Reviews before buying a new furnace.
  • Take annual energy expenditures into consideration. The U.S. government’s Energy Star website offers a handy Home Energy Yardstick to compare your costs with the national average. Newer furnaces offer considerable energy savings over older units and can save a bundle.
  • Add up your repair bills. Older furnaces will obviously need more frequent repairs. If your costs are approaching half the cost of a new furnace it probably makes more financial sense to just buy a new one.
  • Tax credits. Available credits for energy efficient models can cover a significant amount of the cost of a replacement furnace. Although the federal tax credits expired in 2016, many states still offer energy efficient tax credits in the form of property tax or home sales tax exemptions for qualifying furnaces.

It’s highly recommended to retain the services of a professional for advice on whether to repair or replace, and of course it’s important to choose a qualified service provider with experience and a good reputation for honesty and performance.