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End-of-Season Questions to Ask About Your Furnace

couple-in-kitchenWhen winter ends, we recommend homeowners make a short evaluation of their central heater and how it performed over the last few months. This evaluation is all in service of the Big Question: “Should I replace the furnace during the spring?”

But several smaller questions build up to the Big Question, and we’re going to go over a few of those smaller questions for the end of the season. You can make an estimate about whether you should call us to schedule a new furnace installation or to continue with the furnace for another year (or more) and rely on heating repair in Medford, NJ if problems do come up.

“Is the furnace costing more to run than it once did?”

Take out your utility bills for this winter and then collect the ones from the previous few winters. Look over how much you’re paying in gas. Gas prices can fluctuate, so keep this in mind when looking at dips or rises in utility bills. Also consider periods when you may have been out of the house on vacation (lower use) or had many guests staying over (higher use).

Do you see an upward trend in costs to run the furnace you can’t account for? If you are keeping up with regular maintenance, this kind of cost increase is a warning the furnace is coming near to the end of its service life.

“Is this repair worth the investment?”

If your furnace has malfunctioned and you call to have a technician repair it for you, carefully consider the estimated cost of the service, which the technician will gladly tell you. Here’s a helpful calculation: multiply the age of the furnace in years by the cost of the repair. Is the result over 5,000? If it is, a replacement is probably a better choice than the repair. Any repair that costs more than half the price of a new furnace is almost certainly not worth it.

“How long have I had this furnace?”

You might be able to answer this off the top of your head. If you don’t know the furnace age, look on the cabinet for the metal plate with the manufacturer’s specifications. You should see the manufacture date there. A gas furnace should last around 15 years (with regular maintenance). Older than this is when you should start considering a replacement. If the furnace is older than 20 years, give very serious consideration to a replacement.

“If I do need a new furnace, what type should I get?”

Yes, it’s a good idea to begin thinking about this even before you call for a technician to help make a final determination about the furnace. You have many options today for furnaces with much higher efficiency ratings than ever before. These furnaces do cost more to replace than mid-efficiency furnaces, but the payback in savings can be tremendous. High efficiency furnaces also distribute heat better.

One of our furnace experts can help you with making the final decision about your current furnace’s fate. We’ll always provide you with honest answers and great service.

Call us if you need furnace repairs or other heating services. Gibson Heating & Cooling serves the Cherry Hill, NJ area.

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