The easiest way to replace a broken furnace is to contact a professional. They have specialized knowledge and can not only install your furnace correctly, but make recommendations about the type of new furnace to purchase. That said, paying for the furnace may be difficult. Consider getting emergency cash for title loans. What are title loans? Title loans are one of the fastest and easiest ways of getting money, especially from LoanMart. We have years of experience with title loans and may get you the best deal. But before we talk title loans, here’s how you can find out if your furnace needs to be replaced.
How do I know if my furnace needs to be replaced?
As a rule of thumb, if the furnace is past three-quarters of its expected life or if the repairs cost more than one-third of the replacement costs, it’s time for a new unit. There are a few other indicators you can use to decide if it’s time to replace your furnace:
- Frequently needs repair
- Uneven heating
- Significant heating bill increases
- Strange smells or noises
- Dusty or dry air
As well as a few more objective metrics you can use. You should replace your furnace if:
- It’s fifteen years old or older
- The cost of repair is 50% or more than the cost of replacement
- It’s a major repair
- The AFUE number is lower than 56%
- The burner flame is yellow rather than blue
What does AFUE stand for?
It stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. This is a measure of the percentage of fuel that is converted to heat, vs. lost through inefficiencies or up the chimney. The minimum AFUE on new heating units is 80% and some get as high as 95%. If you have an older furnace with an AFUE of 70% and you upgrade to 95%, you can potentially reduce your heating bill by 25%.
What factors should you consider when shopping for a new furnace?
There are several factors to consider once you’ve decided to replace your furnace:
- AFUE – The higher, the more fuel-efficient the furnace
- Reliability – 77% of furnaces that fail require significant repairs. Increasing reliability reduces your chances of being part of that 77%
- Unit Size – It’s important to get an appropriately-sized unit
If you are considering spending more money on a more efficient furnace, you should do some research on the manufactures and your local tax law. Some manufacturers provide rebates and some communities have tax incentives for super-efficient systems. If you can cut your bills by $200 a year, a super-efficient system that costs $1000 more will pay for itself after only five years.
Are there any other ways I can make my home more heat-efficient?
Absolutely. The furnace is only one part of your heating system. You can have the most efficient furnace in the world, but it won’t help you if the other parts of your heating system are letting you down. If you want to see if there are other ways to improve the efficiency of your heating system, some utility companies will perform low-cost energy audits. If they aren’t available from your utility company, you can hire a private company to perform it. The energy audit will find inefficiencies in your heating system that might not be obvious upon visual inspection. Common upgrades include things like:
- Ducts – you can lose easily one-third of your heat that can escape into unheated spaces, like attics or basements. You can improve the efficiency of your ducts by resealing and reinsulating them. You can even have an Aeroseal contractor spray the inside of your ducts with a chemical that fills in tiny gaps and cracks with a rubbery seal. A procedure like this can save you up to 20% on your heating and cooling bills.
- Insulation – Adding insulation to a home that doesn’t have any can save up to 25% on your heating bill. There are several different types of insulation you can add. Attic-floor insulation is quite common, as is blown-in insulation. You can also have insulation blown between your walls.
Having your furnace break, especially mid-winter, can be extremely stressful. The potentially high cost of both repairs and replacement can make the whole situation even worse. Now you know enough about furnace replacement to assess not only whether or not you should replace your furnace, but what to think about when looking for a new furnace.
What can I do to keep my furnace from breaking?
Whether you decided to repair your furnace or replace it, there is preventative maintenance you can perform to keep it working at full capacity. You’ll want to do things like clean the area around the blower and make sure each fan blade is free of debris. You’ll also need to change the filter from time to time, more frequently if you have pets or someone living in the home has asthma. Some things you can do yourself, like change the filters. Other things, like having the blower cleaned, you may want to enlist the help of a professional.
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Check out our application and see how you can use emergency money from a title loan to pay for a new furnace!