Some homeowners feel that they can’t afford a new furnace and are willing to live with their old one and nursemaid it along until they can get the money for a new furnace.
Sometimes, a furnace works well but the homeowners are having their house renovated, and the old furnace wouldn’t be appropriate for the remodel. Some people have inherited a furnace with their new home and wonder if this furnace can meet the needs of their household.
While replacing a furnace can be an expense you haven’t budgeted for, sometimes it’s the ideal solution. There are numerous factors you must take into account before making the decision to fix your furnace, or bite the bullet and purchase a new one. Below, we address the circumstances which necessitate the need to buy a new furnace and the circumstances in which you can opt to simply fix your furnace.
What Is a Furnace?
First, it helps to know what furnace is and what it does. A furnace is a device that heats the home. Furnaces can be powered by gas, oil or electricity. Old fashioned furnaces were powered by coal or wood. A furnace can be an upflow type that’s usually installed in the basement. The heat flows upward through ducts. A downflow furnace can be placed in a closet on an upper floor, and ducts are run beneath it. A horizontal furnace can be installed either in the attic or the crawlspace of a house. Furnaces vent noxious gases out of the home through a flue that might be attached to a powered vent.
Things to Take Into Account
Homeowners who can afford to buy a new furnace but are uncertain as to whether they really need a new one should take three things into account. They should consider how efficient their furnace is, how much the cost of fuel is in the Calgary area and the home’s heating load. That’s the energy a house needs to keep it at around 65 degrees F. A precise heating load can be determined by an certified and experienced HVAC contractor.
What Else Can Be Done?
If the furnace really is on its last legs, then the decision to replace it is easy. On the other hand, a relatively new furnace that gets about 85 percent efficiency and hasn’t presented any major problems lately might get a reprieve even though there are furnaces on the market whose efficiency can be as high as 97 percent. But to replace a newish 85 percent efficient furnace with one of these might not be worth it. It will take some years for the furnace to pay for itself.
Perhaps the best way to make an old but sound furnace more efficient is to add insulation or weather-stripping. The homeowner can also ask his or her gas and electric company to do an energy audit and recommend other ways to make the furnace more efficient.