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Dowd Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

At What Point Is Repairing Your Old Heater No Longer Worth It?

Furnace-standard

You shouldn’t think of any central heating system in your home as “the last heater you’ll ever need to buy” (or inherit if the heater came with the house). No such heating system exists. Although you can get a longer service life from a heating system with regular maintenance and attention to repairs as needed, eventually wear and tear will deteriorate the system to where it’s no longer worth keeping. 

Getting a new heating installation in Hatboro, PA is a major decision, one you don’t want to make hastily. Below we’ll look at some of the ways you can judge if your heating system is past the point of repairing and you’re ready for a new one.

You don’t trust the heating system to run safely

A well-running gas furnace or boiler won’t pose any major danger to your household. As the system gets older, however, the risk of danger can become greater. If you’re in any position where you’re worried about the safe operation of your gas heater and don’t feel you can trust it, that’s enough to warrant calling us and probably getting the system replaced. 

The heater is over its estimated service life

Different heating systems have a range of how long they can expect to work effectively and efficiently. Gas furnaces usually last 15 years, electric furnaces and boilers 20 years, and heat pumps from 10 to 15. A system that’s over the upper limit is a good candidate for replacement: ask our technicians to examine the heater and give you an assessment of how much longer it can run. We don’t recommend trying to push a system too far past its service life estimate.

Heating costs are rising without stop

You can expect some fluctuations in the cost to warm your home from winter to winter, and rises in energy costs will cause an increase in your utility bills. But if you’re seeing a continual rise in heating costs with an older heater, even with maintenance and repairs, the system is sending the message that it’s not worth keeping. 

Repairs are too expensive

When you get a quote for a repair on an older heating system, how can you tell if it’s too costly compared to getting a new heater? There are several ways to measure. One of the simplest is, “If the cost of the repair is more than 50% of the cost of a new heating system, go with the new heating system.” Another is the Rule of 5000, “If the cost of the repair multiplied by the age of the heater in years is greater than 5,000, replace the heating system instead.” Both rules are good guidelines, but we recommend talking to your technicians about the possibilities and the best route forward. 

The heating system is falling behind

Finally, if your heater just can’t keep up with the cold each season no matter how long it runs or what repairs it gets, it’s certainly not worth keeping. Start over with an excellent new heating system installation from our team and you’ll have years of great warmth and lower heating costs. 

Whether you need your heater fixed or a new heater, call Dowd Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning: A Degree Above the Rest.

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