It happens eventually in every home. On a particularly cold Canadian or Humid hot summer morning, you awake to either no heat or no cold. You crank your thermostat, and there is no response. No comforting sound of the system firing up leaving you in despair of what to do next. 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 costly it raises the big question, Does it make more sense for us to fix or replace? Here is how we can help you decide.
If the problem presents as dangerous it is an easy answer. For instance, if your system has a cracked heat exchanger the metal wall between the burning fuel and the air it’s heating has created poisonous carbon monoxide gas, which can work its way into the household air. Making it life threatening. If it is another problem, like faulty Circuit board or igniter, this can be repaired and replaced at a much less expensive cost. This then brings us to a deciding factor on the age of your furnace.
A 2007 study by the National Association of Home Builders found that forced-air systems last an average of 15 to 20 years; boilers for hot-water radiators 13 to 21 years. So a good start is by dating your system. If you are a Gastech maintenance customer we will have your information on file, if not you can find this information, usually on the inside of the door. It is generally a metal identification plate. Once you have this, record the model and serial numbers from the plate, then call us and we will help you determine the age of your system.
To decide your system’s fate, you will need more data: the cost of your repair versus a replacement option. Either Gastech or your current service provider can provide you with this information upon analysis. Depending on the size of your home and the brand of new equipment you choose, new equipment will range in price.
As a general guideline, consider replacement if the equipment is beyond three-quarters of its life expectancy and repairs have accumulated to more than a third of replacement.
In these days of high fuel costs and concerns over our carbon footprints, you should also consider your systems Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency number (AFUE). This measures the percentage of the fuel that’s converted to heat rather than being lost up the chimney or through other inefficiencies.
“If your system is 20 years old, its AFUE is probably 70% or less,” In today’s time we at Gastech do not recommend a new furnace replacement under a AFUE of 90%, which means you’ll burn 20% less fuel—and therefore spend 20% less money on your heating bills. You can go as high a 97% AFUE with new equipment, dropping your bills a whopping 27%. In addition, the Ontario Power Authority (O.P.A) will also earn you a rebate of $250.00 on a Furnace and up to $650.00 on a qualifying combined furnace and Air Conditioner, for a limited time.
In the end, know that your best interest is our main concern. Whether you choose to fix or replace your existing equipment, we are here to help in any way that we can. We look forward to hearing from our existing and welcoming new customers alike!