The answer to this frequently asked question depends on your furnace’s age and condition and the repair cost. Generally speaking, if you have an old model furnace with frequent or inefficient problems, replacing it with a newer model may be more cost-effective.
However, if your furnace is relatively new and only requires minor repairs, it may be worth fixing rather than replacing. It’s also important to consider any warranties or guarantees that may apply to your furnace before deciding. Ultimately, the best way to determine if it’s worth fixing your furnace is to consult with a qualified heating and cooling contractor for their expert opinion.
Furnace Repair or Furnace Replacement?
Picture this: it’s a cold winter night, and you find yourself shivering within the walls of your own home. Immediately, you turn on the heat, only to find that your furnace is malfunctioning.
Not only is this an incredibly inconvenient time for this to happen, but it also raises many questions. The biggest question of all is whether to repair or replace your furnace.
Whether you’re dealing with an old furnace, a new heating system, or a furnace that has required regular maintenance in the past, there are a great many factors that go into deciding if it is worth it to perform furnace repair or to simply all-out replace your furnace.
Your Furnace’s Age
Sadly, heating systems are not always reliable. Generally speaking, a furnace’s expected lifespan is 15-25 years. If it’s younger than that, you could easily still have an efficient furnace in your home that could work wonders with a simple repair.
But suppose your faulty old furnace falls within that age range, rather than consistently re-upping and paying increasingly greater sums to service technicians from a utility company to perform major repairs on your HVAC system.
In that case, it’s probably best to simply spring for a replacement furnace.
Your Furnace is Making Noise
If you hear strange noises from your furnace anytime you turn it on or off, it may be a sign of malfunction, but it could also be something else entirely. More often than not, loud noises come from unsecured ductwork, which can then tend to rattle about.
It could also be less severe issues with your furnace, such as an unbalanced inducer motor.
However, such loud noises could also indicate motor failure, a cracked heat exchanger, or even more significant issues.
It’s tough to tell any significant difference between these various noises, so it is always best to contact a service technician such as Universal Heating & Air to ensure your HVAC system is working properly.
How Much Should It Cost to Repair a Furnace in Los Angeles?
The cost of furnace repair can vary wildly and solely depends upon which parts of the furnace need repairs. Making repairs over the years can help keep your furnace running in great shape, but the cost depends on whether we are talking about major or minor furnace repairs.
Furnace replacement generally costs anywhere between $3,500 and $6,500. Generally speaking, furnace repairs should remain under $2,000 to remain a viable option. After a certain point, if the cost of repairs exceeds that, the question of whether to repair or replace your furnace is essentially answered for you, as repairing is destined to only dig you deeper and deeper into higher costs.
The three most expensive individual parts for furnace repair are the circuit board, the blower motor, and the draft inducer motor. If one of these three parts is badly damaged, it may make repairing or replacing that much simpler, as they will rack up enormous costs. When these parts malfunction, it’s time to replace them.
Most furnaces run on natural gas and heating oil, from older furnaces to modern ones. This has been and remains one of the most efficient and long-lasting heating systems, but it does come with the risk of a malfunctioning furnace emitting carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide is highly poisonous, and such a leak would require you to evacuate your home and get your furnace replaced immediately. It would also necessitate you calling the fire department to get their assistance in subduing the leak.
A healthily operating furnace will be burning with bright blue flames, indicating the sheer heat of the furnace. However, if those flames ever turn to yellow flames, it is time to evacuate and call the fire department, as it is an early warning sign of a carbon monoxide leak.
Yellow flames are one of the multiple warning signs you must constantly be on the lookout for when it comes to your furnace.
Similarly, if you find evidence such as streaks of soot around your furnace, absence of any kind of upward draft carrying gases upward and out of your home, or multiple household members feeling ill, evacuate the home immediately and call for help.
When the Cost of a Heating Repair Is Over Half the Cost of a Replacement
To repair or replace? If the cost to repair your furnace becomes greater than half of your furnace’s replacement cost, it will be much more cost-effective to simply replace your furnace. An old furnace, especially one that has lived out over 75% of its life expectancy, will have a higher repair cost and utility bills and ultimately cause higher energy bills.
Instead of paying ever-increasing costs for furnace repair work, simply call our team at Universal Heating & Air and have us replace your furnace entirely the first time, saving you money in the long run.
The alternative to natural gas-powered furnaces, electric heaters – usually the lowest-priced purchase – offer a relatively inexpensive option for installation. However, they are much more difficult to operate and notoriously less reliable.
Electric furnaces are much more commonly found in warmer states, where the HVAC system is not put through the high-stakes pressures of frigid winters.
Electric Furnace Sequencer Replacement
For comparison of costs, an electric furnace’s most expensive individual part is a sequencer. The sequencer helps electrical power heater heating strips within the furnace, playing a vital role in your home’s heating. Whereas replacement parts for gas-powered furnaces can and do reach nearly $1,000, replacing a sequencer generally costs between $300 and $600.
Ensure Your Furnace is Repaired or Replaced Before Winter
As a homeowner in North America, you probably know the importance of adequately preparing for winter. A malfunctioning heating system can be catastrophic during winter, especially in northern states.
Thus it is always best to make crucial decisions regarding your furnace before the winter months. Take stock of your furnace, evaluate if it is running correctly or reaching the end of its life expectancy, and make choices that can help to fortify your home immediately and keep your family safe.
High Energy Bills & Furnace Repair Costs
When a furnace has been used for several years, it becomes much more difficult to maintain heat distributed throughout your home. The furnace has to work harder, which increases your electricity bill dramatically.
Gas Valve Replacements
The gas valve provides fuel for an oven. The valve of a gas heater lasts the same length. The types of valves required determine the final price for replacing a gas valve. Your furnace stage determines how to use gas valves. It controls a furnace’s heat output.
Recent advancements that can be implemented into your new furnace, such as modulating gas valves and variable speed motors, can significantly minimize the amount of energy used (and the total of your energy bills) while maximizing the heat output in your home.
Frequent Repair Work by an HVAC Professional
With an older furnace, minor repairs are expected, and nothing to worry about. However, once your furnace repair service calls begin growing increasingly frequent and for increasingly more major problems, it is time to replace your furnace rather than attempt to repair it again.
It will be much more cost-effective in the long run, doubly so when you call our team of experts at Universal Heating & Air. While other HVAC companies may gauge you with unexpected fees and hidden additional costs, we here at Universal Heating & Air pride ourselves on authenticity and honesty. Call us today at (323) 763-5777 to speak to a team member about our furnace replacement options!
How Long Does a Furnace Last?
Most heating equipment can last up to 30 years, but once your furnace reaches the crucial midrange age of 15-20, it is always best to watch it for malfunctions and issues. Maintaining a furnace with frequent repairs and regularly changed filters is essential. Your current furnace can last the entire three decades with proper care and attention paid to it, which can also help minimize your repair cost.
Furnace Blower Motor Replacement
The purpose of a furnace blower is to circulate heat around the entire house and to distribute heat evenly. Without a blowing machine, the furnace cannot efficiently circulate the warm air into the rooms and maintain high efficiency. Thus, the furnace blower motor is a crucial piece of the larger machinery that must be kept working properly for your home to stay warm.
With a malfunctioning furnace blower motor, you will incur higher heating bills, which leads to putting too much pressure on the heat exchanger, which could then lead to an even greater repair cost.
How Do I Know It’s Time to Replace My Furnace?
Anytime your furnace is giving you unexpected troubles, whether that be an excess of strange new noises, not properly heating the entire home, or ratcheting up the cost of your energy bill, it is always best to contact an HVAC service near you to investigate.
Such issues emerge from a problem somewhere within your furnace, and it is better to be actively prepared for any potential dangers than to fall face-first into them.
Whether you need a replacement circuit board, a more simply accomplished repair job, or an entirely new system to replace your furnace, the only way to know is to stay vigilant and contact an HVAC Company in Los Angeles for a free inspection.
Is Furnace Replacement Covered by a Home Warranty?
A home warranty is a legal document covering the cost of repairs or replacements incurred from damaged or defective home systems. Generally speaking, yes, it is incredibly common for a home warranty to cover furnace repair or replacement to some degree, helping to ensure the heat-based system within the home. However, each warranty is different, and you must know what is and isn’t present in your home’s warranty before assuming anything.
Is it worth repairing a 20-year-old furnace?
The average life expectancy of a furnace is between 15 years and 30 years, so if you have a 20-year-old furnace that has broken down, it is highly likely that it is near the end of its lifecycle. In such a situation, you should get a free repair estimate, but it will likely be a wiser choice to get a new furnace altogether.
What is the most expensive part to fix on a furnace?
The three most expensive items to fix in furnaces are the blower motors, the circuit boards, and the inducer motors. If these items are broken within your furnace, a new furnace will be the wiser investment. Conversely, repairs are a much more feasible possibility if something such as the heat exchanger is damaged (whose cost is relatively low by comparison).
For All of Your Furnace Needs!
Universal Heating & Air is here to service all your furnace-related needs, whether you need residential or commercial repairs, replacements, and emergency services. Call us today at (323) 763-5777; we will be there the same day!