When to Replace a Furnace: A Denver Tech Answers

A furnace is a big investment, so you want to be sure that if you’re replacing your furnace, you’re doing it for the right reasons.

It could be time to replace your furnace if…

  • Your furnace is aging and/or you’re paying for frequent repairs
  • Your furnace is heating your home unevenly
  • You’ve noticed a significant increase in heating bills
  • You have a cracked heat exchanger

We’ll walk you through the details below.

Sign #1: Your furnace is aging and/or you’re paying for frequent repairs

If your furnace is 10-15 years old and is needing frequent repairs…

...it’s time to replace your furnace.

Think of it this way: If you had a car with 250,000 miles that needed frequent repairs, you probably wouldn’t keep putting money into it...instead, you’d be shopping for a new car.

You should think of your furnace in the same way. The cost to install a furnace range from $4,500 to $12,000. If your furnace is reaching the end of its life and you’re paying for frequent (and expensive) repairs, it may be more cost-effective to invest in a new furnace instead.

If your furnace is 10-15 years old but you haven’t had to pay for many repairs yet…

.... you might not need to replace your furnace yet but you should definitely start considering/budgeting for it.

Why? Even if you can’t see or hear issues with your furnace, if it’s 10-15 years old, it’s probably not running as safely or efficiently as it should be. Old, inefficient furnaces often lead to issues, like:

  • Increased heating bills
  • Expensive emergency repairs
  • Compromised safety

Purchasing a new furnace before your current one breaks down will help mitigate these costly (and potentially dangerous) situations.

Note: If you don’t know how old your furnace is, you can check by:

Looking for a serial number engraved or written on a paper or metal tag. Typically, this is on the cover panel of your furnace. You can do a search on the manufacturer’s website with this number to determine the age of the unit.

Sign #2: Your furnace is heating your home unevenly

Typically, the older your furnace gets, the less efficient it becomes. An older, inefficient furnace can have trouble heating your home evenly, resulting in some areas that are warm and some that are cool.

If you’re experiencing temperature variation throughout your home, this could be a sign it’s time to replace your furnace.

Note: Old or outdated ductwork could also play a part in uneven temperatures in your home. There could be holes or gaps in your ductwork, allowing heated air to escape, resulting in some of the uneven temperatures you are experiencing.

A licensed HVAC tech can inspect your furnace and ductwork to determine whether you should replace your furnace, your ductwork or both.

Sign #3: You’ve noticed a significant increase in heating bills

As we mentioned above, as furnaces age, their efficiency drops progressively. As a result, they have to work longer to produce the desired temperature.

If you’re noticing a significant increase in your heating bills and haven’t made any significant changes to your heating habits, this is a good indication that your furnace needs to be replaced.

Sign #4: You have a cracked heat exchanger

If a professional has examined your furnace and informed you that you have a cracked heat exchanger AND your furnace is relatively new (5 years or newer), the best option may be to replace your heat exchanger.

However, you should replace your entire furnace if your cracked heat exchanger is coupled with:

  • A furnace that is 10 years or older
  • Frequent repairs
  • Uneven heating
  • Increased heating bills

Heat exchanger replacements are extremely expensive ($2,000 to $3,500) and can be a sign that other parts of your furnace are wearing out too.

If you have a cracked heat exchanger and notice any of the above factors, you shouldn’t invest more money into a unit that will likely need more expensive repairs in the near future.

For more detailed information on whether you should replace your heat exchanger or your entire furnace, read our blog, “Should I Replace My Heat Exchanger or Buy a New Furnace?”

Note: If your heat exchanger is cracked, you should be able to physically see a crack. If a technician is unable to point out the crack to you, you should get a second opinion before repairing or replacing your furnace.

Our Tip: Get an expert opinion

Regardless of whether you want to repair your furnace or you need help deciding which furnace to buy, our suggestion is to get an expert opinion. Furnaces are a big investment, and you want to be sure that you’re making the right decision.

Before deciding on anything, you should schedule an in-home consultation with an experienced technician. A technician can help you determine whether a repair or replacement makes the most sense for you. If you do decide to replace your current furnace, a technician can also provide a few options, ensuring you purchase the best furnace for your home.

Note: The right furnace for your home depends on the specifics of your home and your heating needs. Be wary of any technician who will give you an over-the-phone estimate without seeing your home first. Inaccurate estimations can lead to serious and costly issues down the road!

Need help from a Colorado Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, or Electrical Specialist? 

For your convenience, you can request an appointment in one of two ways:

  • Call us at (303) 436-2525 for immediate assistance.
  • Click on the button below to schedule your appointment online.


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