If correctly sized, properly installed, and well-maintained, the furnace in your Wingham, ON home should last between 15 and 20 years. Although there are stories of heaters with service lives that span three decades or more, these units are few and far between. In busy, bustling households, furnaces sustain significant, ongoing wear, and they experience marked decreases in efficiency with each heating season. Thus, as your furnace ages, you may find yourself wondering whether to fix or replace it.

Consider Recent Increases in Your Home Energy Bills

The gradual decline of furnace efficiency is an inescapable part of the aging process. Unfortunately, most HVAC equipment has already lost as much as half of its efficiency after just 10 years of service. All things considered, if your energy bills are on the rise and your furnace regularly needs repairs, you could wind up spending a lot less by simply replacing your outdated heater.

Take a look at your current energy bill and compare it to your energy bill from this time last year. If you don’t have printed copies on hand, log into your utility account and search your billing history online. In winter, furnace use accounts for about half of the average homeowner’s monthly energy bill. As such, any dramatic wintertime changes in your energy use can be largely attributed to your furnace.

Crunch the Numbers

Calculate the cumulative cost of all recent furnace repairs and then compare this to the cost of a new furnace. The majority of all repairs that your furnace will ever need will probably occur within the last two years of its life span. This means that if you’ve already spent a hefty sum to keep your furnace running, you can look forward to spending even more in the future.

Furnaces That Are Still Relatively New

In most cases, throwing in the towel on a furnace that’s provided less than a decade of service is a much less cost-effective decision. It’s important to note that although furnaces typically last between 15 years and two decades, not all of their components do. Having to replace worn capacitors, fan belts, and thermocouples is perfectly normal. Having these repairs performed by technicians who understand the needs and nuances of the furnace model you own will help you get the best value from this all-important appliance.

You should additionally note that if any major problems rear their heads during the first several years of your furnace’s life, they’ll probably be covered by your furnace manufacturer’s warranty. These warranties cover repairs resulting from substandard manufacturing and defective parts for up to five years. Depending upon the nature of the furnace issues that you need to have fixed, you might also be qualified for covered repairs under your home insurance plan or your home service agreement.

Account for Changes in Your Indoor Air Quality

Efficiency losses and accumulated wear aren’t the only guaranteed effects of furnace aging. An older furnace can also have a negative impact on your indoor air quality (IAQ). Despite annual furnace maintenance, periodic HVAC air duct cleaning, and other preventative measures, your heater may be harboring a lot of dust, dirt, dander, and other debris. Although repairing an aging furnace will improve its performance, it won’t have any noticeable impact on your IAQ.

Structural Damage and Safety

You should definitely replace your furnace if, along with its current repair issues, there’s visible structural damage. Evidence of rust or other corrosion, cracks along its exterior, and signs of existing or prior pest infestations are all good reasons to start anew. The age and wear-related damages that are visible on the outside of a furnace are usually mirrored in its interior.

Size Means Everything

Whether old or new, if you shopped for your furnace on your own or if this unit was selected and installed by an unlicensed or inexperienced professional, it might be too large or too small for your home. Furnaces that aren’t properly sized always sustain accelerated wear and break down long before their time. Overly large furnaces short-cycle throughout much of their lives, and undersize furnaces run non-stop. In these instances, rather than paying for a constant stream of stress-related repairs, it’s often cheaper, easier, and far less frustrating to replace incorrectly sized furnaces with models that suit their service areas.

Residents of Wingham, ON can count on us for expert furnace installation, maintenance, and repair services. We also provide top-notch cooling, plumbing, and electrical services. If you need help determining whether to fix your heater or replace it, contact Montgomery's Industrial Services today to schedule an appointment.

Paul Montgomery


Paul Montgomery is the president of Montgomery's Industrial Services. Paul has been in the business since 1992.
company icon