Although it would be nice to always attempt furnace repair rather than replacement, eventually the time must come when the equipment no longer works. How and why this decision comes to pass may change depending on the circumstances. It is an unfortunate occurrence, to be sure, but one that must be done in order to ensure a healthy, happy and heated home.

So, how does one know when it is time to buy a new furnace rather than opting for furnace repair? The answer is multi-faceted, as it turns out that many conditions may bring forth the need for replacement. Below, we look at these reasons, as well as what to look for in a new furnace. Let’s get started.

Reasons To Replace Your Furnace

On A Schedule

Did you know that most home appliances have an expected lifespan? It’s true of refrigerators and stoves as much as it is with furnaces. In particular, furnaces are expected to last between 15 and 20 years. After this time, wear and tear on the components can put the furnace at risk of failure. Therefore, some people prefer to wait this period of time and replace their furnace just to be sure that they are safe and secure.

Based On Warning Signs

You can also choose to replace your furnace based on various warning signs. These include visual indicators like:

  • Rust around the flue
  • Moisture buildup
  • Pilot lights (newer models use electronic ignitions)

Still, many find it difficult to perform regular visual inspections on their furnace, so be on the lookout for environmental indications, including:

  • A low temperature in the home despite the heat being on
  • Higher energy or gas bills for the same usage
  • Unusual sounds coming from the furnace (grinding, squeaking, banging, whining, etc.)
  • Carbon monoxide alarms or poorer air quality
  • Rotten egg or other peculiar smells

What To Look For In A New Furnace

Before we get into the various traits of good furnaces, we should note that many people recommend you replace your furnace in the spring months. Furnace repair is also good to do at this time. This is likely due to the fact that you will not be reliant on it during this time, as you would be in the fall or winter months. With that said, let’s take a look at what makes a good furnace.


The size of your furnace should match the square footage of your home. The correlation is fairly direct, so don’t be fooled into thinking a bigger furnace is better. Similarly, if you are trying to save money on your furnace, choosing a smaller size is not the best way to go about it.


For those on a budget, furnace manufacturers offer product lines in the same style as car manufacturers. That is, they have several different versions of the same basic product with various added features and higher-quality components. Work with your HVAC company to find the right furnace for your budget.


Generally, you should always select for high-efficiency equipment, but this is especially true of products with long lifespans, like furnaces, stoves and other appliances. You have to keep in mind that these devices are high-efficiency only for our current technology, and at our current pace of advancement, they are likely to be obsolete before the end of their lifetime.

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