Ahhhh, the decision to make a heating repair or to replace a defective furnace. Well, a boiler or combination HVAC unit depends on a variety of factors. A cost benefit analysis, using numbers obtained from a licensed HVAC contractor, should be run to determine the best course of action.

Here are some factors to include:

  • The expected remaining life of your current heating system
  • The cost of the repair
  • The cost of a heating replacement
  • The type of heating replacement
  • The difference in energy efficiencies between the old and the new heating unit
  • The operational efficiency of the unit
  • The availibilty of the parts needed to make the repair

Obviously an expensive repair on an aged boiler or furnace makes the decision to replace much easier. However, there are efficiencies to be gained by upgraded a poorly designed or performing heating system that can help offset the cost of replacement.

Secondly, type of furnace can have a profound influence on the decision to repair or replace. The cost of electric heat generation is significantly greater than that of gas fired units. If the cost of access to the natural gas is not prohibitive, it is often much more economically beneficial to switch. The savings in fuel costs will often pay for the heating replacement in under a few years.

Similarly, more modern gas furnaces are significantly more efficient than older models. Trading up may make the most financial sense when the repair cost, lowered fuel bills and government incentives are compared to the cost of the repair. This calculation is especially important in area with longer winters and lower average temperatures.

Lastly, poorly performing furnaces provide a lower quality of life for the homeowner and their family. There is definitely a benefit to being comfortable in one’s own home. The proper installation and maintenance of a modern, high efficiency furnace will go a long way in providing this comfort. Before having a major heating repair performed, be sure to get all the facts from your local heating and cooling contractor.