How do homeowners in the Greater Portland area know when they should repair or replace a furnace?

To repair, or to replace….that is the question. To get to the answer, keep in mind that the useful life of a furnace is usually 15-20 years. A furnace doesn’t just die quietly in the night. What usually happens is that the furnace slowly but surely starts to break down, often one expensive part at a time.

The five main components of a furnace include:

  • Circuit board
  • Gas valve
  • Inducer motor
  • Main blowing motor
  • Heat exchanger

At about the 15 year mark, if one of these five components go out, it’s time to talk about a replacement, rather than a repair. The reason is simple: these components can each be $500 or more to change.

If it was possible to know before changing one that you’d never have another problem with your furnace, we would happily change it. However, there is no crystal ball. So, if you spend $650 to change your main blower motor, and a year later you’re changing the inducer motor, or another of the five main components, you could wind up spending more than $1000 to keep a 20-year-old furnace on life support. Then, when that happens, most people want to keep trying to stretch their dollars as far as they can. They don’t want to consider all of the other things that may go wrong.

Sadly, something else WILL go wrong. And, if it’s something like a crack in the heat exchanger, then an old furnace simply cannot come back from that.

The bottom line at Comfort Connection: we don’t like to see people waste money, even if they’re wasting money with us. We’d rather see people make smart decisions that help maximize their heating and cooling dollars.

So, as you weigh your repair or replacement options, keep a few things in mind:

  • An average repair on a furnace costs $200 – $300. If the repair is going to cost more than $300, you have to consider the age of your furnace.
  • Many components in your furnace can be changed out for between $200 – $300. If you can do so, then repairing makes sense.
  • However, if you have to repair one of the five components listed above, then replacement probably makes more sense.
  • Costs associated with installing a new furnace depend on the type of furnace you put in. As a licensed Bryant contractor, we stand behind the quality of their products, and their parts warrantees, for all of our furnace installations in the Greater Portland area.

One way to stay ahead of furnace needs is with an annual Comfort Connection maintenance plan.

Having an annual maintenance plan means one of our professional techs is checking the components of your furnace—including the gas valve, safety switches, limit and roll-out switches, amp draw, blower motor and more—on a yearly basis. We will discover a potential problem before it’s an actual problem that affects you and your household in the dead of winter.

Is it time to replace, repair, or service the furnace in your Portland-area home? Contact Comfort Connection today.

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