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Furnaces: To Replace or Not to Replace, That is the Question
January 5, 2015
Amana-Goodman-Furnace“You don’t know what you've got till it’s gone.” That saying has never been as true as it is when your furnace dies during the night in minus forty degree weather. It is at that moment when you start to appreciate that forgotten metal box in your basement. Suddenly your furnace is all you can think about and panic sets in as you worry about the safety of both your home and your family. The primary concern in a furnace emergency is to stay warm and get help. The secondary concern is the unexpected cost associated with the repair. If it is a simple fix then you can breathe a sigh of relief, but more often than not, the repair is a significant component of the furnace and you are left with a decision to repair or replace. Even if it is possible to fix the furnace, it might be time to “pull the plug”. You may be better advised to put your money toward a new unit instead of an expensive repair that may not last. Although you might not have any attachment to your furnace itself, you may have some attachment to the $5,000 - $7,000 you would have to dish out to replace it; it’s a difficult decision for anyone, especially under short notice. To help homeowners with their decision, Centennial 360 suggests three factors to consider: 1. Age of the Furnace “No matter how old the furnace is, replacement is always an option. In the earlier phases of a furnace’s life, repair is usually the preferred choice as parts may be under warranty and it is likely that the rest of the furnace is still in great shape. However, if it is fifteen years old or more, it is probably best to bite the bullet and replace. It likely won’t last too much longer even with a repair.” 2. The Weakest Link “As your furnace ages, something is bound to break. It’s the nature of anything that endures constant use. Think of your furnace as a chain of parts that are linked together. Eventually the weakest link will break. Once it is repaired, something else becomes the weakest link and it too will eventually give way. You can keep repairing broken links or you can get a new chain. Most of us fix a few links before we replace the chain, but keep in mind that the next link will break and a chain reaction will start.” 3. The E-Factor “If you are planning on staying in your home for a while, you will want to consider the efficiency factor. Everyone knows that a high efficiency furnace will save you money on your energy bill, but most people don’t realize that a new furnace with a brushless DC motor will also save you money on your power bill. According to SaskEnergy, switching from a standard furnace of 60% efficiency to a 95% high efficiency furnace saves the average Saskatchewan homeowner $509 per year. If your furnace is an energy guzzler, it’s probably best to replace.”  If you ARE  thinking of replacing your old furnace, now is a great time. From August 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015 SaskEnergy Network Members are offering Prime + 2% loans (OAC)  for ENERGY STAR® qualified high efficiency furnaces and other appliances.  Learn more here. And if you need more help deciding whether or not to replace your furnace, Centennial 360 offers  free estimates on furnace equipment. You can book a service call online or call us at 306.986.3246 Keep warm!