IS IT TIME FOR A BOILER OR FURNACE REPLACEMENT?
Every Pittsburgh-area homeowner will experience it at some point. You wake up for work on a especially frigid winter’s morning. A noticeable chill is in the air as you watch KDKA’s weather. You turn up the thermostat before hitting the shower but you’re met with the sound of silence. Gone is that familiar sound of your heat firing up. There’s also no rush of warm air coming from the registers or radiators. Your furnace or boiler is dead.
You call an emergency boiler or furnace repairman. You’re hoping it’s a temporary setback and nothing serious. Perhaps your furnace tripped a circuit breaker? Maybe a clogged air filter is restricting airflow? Whatever the cause, you hope it’s something an experienced HVAC technician can easily fix. And then you’re dealt some bad news.
The necessary repairs are more costly than you expected. In fact, it may even be more cost effective to replace the heating system altogether with a new boiler or a new furnace in Pittsburgh rather than repair it. What should you do?
Assess Safety First
Older furnaces are more susceptible to issues like a cracked heat exchanger that could expose you and your family to carbon monoxide gas. There’s also the potential for electrical or fire hazards. That said, some problems like stuck valves and certain electrical issues are easily repairable. In this case, a cost-benefit analysis would be recommended.
Consider the Average Lifespan of System
Most forced-air furnaces have an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years with proper maintenance. Boilers for hot water heating systems have about 13 to 21 good years with proper maintenance. Now, this isn’t to say that a well-maintained furnace or boiler won’t last 25 to 30 years. Half of all systems over two decades old work well, the other half are spent.
Factor In Energy Efficiency
Consider the energy efficiency of your boiler or furnace. Not just for the sake of lessening your carbon footprint, but to lower your heating bill as well. Both boilers and furnaces measure how much of the fuel source is converted to heat. This measurement is known as the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating.
Your 20+ year-old furnace may still be working, but its AFUE is likely at or under 70 percent. 80 percent is the minimum AFUE in newer units. Switching from an older less efficient model to just a base model with 10 percent more efficiency will lower your heating bill. Some newer units have an AFUE as high as 96 percent, which can lower your gas bill by up to 25 percent.
The more energy efficient a boiler or furnace is, the more it will cost. But you’ll have much lower heating bills and more comfortability. You’ll most likely recoup your extra investment in just five years. Super-efficient systems may even be eligible for rebates, tax credits, and manufacturer rebates for additional savings.
Click here to learn more about boiler and furnace efficiency.
Do a Cost Comparison Analysis
Replacement furnaces typically cost $1500 to $4,000. Replacement boilers can run anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000. The brand you choose and the size of your home will determine which end of the pricing spectrum you’re in. It’s probably not worth spending $850 to repair a 20 year-old furnace you could replace for $2,000.
WANT A HIGH-EFFICIENCY NEW BOILER OR NEW FURNACE IN PITTSBURGH? LET’S TALK!
The technicians at Top Notch Heating & Cooling can help you compare the cost of a high-efficiency replacement furnace or boiler in Pittsburgh vs. repairs. We don’t engage in high pressure sales tactics. We do what’s right for you and your budget. Call us today at 412-381-0598 for emergency repairs or to discuss getting a new boiler or a new furnace in Pittsburgh.