Should I Repair or Replace My Furnace?

Do you operate a furnace to heat your Sacramento, CA, home? With annual maintenance, your heating system should last at least a decade or longer. Sooner or later, you’ll notice signs that your furnace isn’t functioning in like-new condition. Read on to learn whether you should repair your furnace or invest in a heating replacement.

Schedule a Furnace Repair

Minor furnace repairs are less intensive and relatively inexpensive, averaging between $200 and $400. They take less time to complete, too. Here’s when you should schedule a furnace repair rather than pay for a heating replacement:

Furnace Ignitor

The ignitor in your furnace provides the spark needed to heat your house. The latest furnace ignitors can last between five and 15 years. Replacing the ignitor costs a few hundred dollars. You don’t need to replace the whole furnace.

Furnace Pressure Switch

Furnaces have several safety switches; pressure switches are likelier to malfunction than most others. Still, they can last for about 10 years. Replacing a faulty furnace pressure switch also costs a few hundred dollars.

Electric Furnace Sequencer

Most homeowners still use gas furnaces. But if you have an electric furnace and it doesn’t heat your house, it could be because of faulty sequencers. Sequencers help power an electric furnace’s heat strips, and heat strips rarely malfunction. Sequencers usually last 12-15 years. Replacing them is a relatively inexpensive repair.

Furnace Transformer

Transformers supply electricity to your furnace and rarely malfunction. But if yours do, it’s likely because your furnace is experiencing electrical stress like short-cycling. In most cases, furnace transformers will last as long as the entire system. Fortunately, if you need yours replaced, the cost doesn’t warrant a total furnace replacement.

Consider a Furnace Replacement

Major furnace repairs require more time and manual labor because the problems they address severely affect your system’s performance to the point of creating breakdowns. Therefore, they cost much more money to complete. Sometimes, it’s more cost-effective to invest in a furnace replacement rather than spend a lot of money on a repair.

Gas Valve

Gas valves don’t fail often, but replacement costs can be high when they do. Single- and two-stage gas valve replacements don’t cost as much as modulating gas valve replacements, but all three are high enough to start considering a furnace replacement. The cost will be even higher if the furnace’s gas valve isn’t manufactured anymore.

Circuit Board

The circuit board in your furnace tells the system how to function. It’s the brain of your heating system, ensuring it’s completing effective and efficient cycles. Excess moisture in your house will lower your circuit board’s lifespan. Consider a furnace replacement if you need to replace your furnace’s circuit board.

Inducer Motor

The inducer motor moves air within your furnace during the heating process and exhausts waste gases like carbon monoxide via flue pipes. Inducer motors can last anywhere between 12 and 15 years.

Blower Motor

The blower motor circulates warm air from your furnace into your living spaces. If the blower motor fails, your furnace can’t heat your house. Older furnaces usually have permanent-split compressor (PSC) blower motors. They’re relatively inexpensive to produce and last 10-12 years. Variable-speed blower motors have a longer life expectancy of 15-20 years. If your furnace has a variable-speed blower motor that breaks down, it’ll be much more expensive to repair than a malfunctioning PSC blower motor. In this case, it’s best to replace your entire furnace.

Heat Exchanger

A heat exchanger heats the air before the blower motor distributes it into your living spaces. It can usually last up to 20 years. Since heat exchanger repairs can cost as little as a hundred dollars and as much as thousands, it’s best to consult an HVAC professional before deciding whether to repair or replace your furnace.

Contact Elk Grove Plumbing & Drain to schedule a furnace repair or replacement in Sacramento, CA. You can trust us to provide expert advice and care to ensure you don’t pay a penny more than needed for home comfort.

Image provided by Thinkstock

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