Signs That You Need a New Furnace or Boiler

Your furnace or boiler is an essential equipment in your home. It is literally impossible to live a comfortable life without either of those two. You use them for the simple purpose of creating an ideal temperature and environment inside your home. So if they cease to exist or no longer work, it means you’re sacrificing a lot. But you don’t have to do that, we mean sacrifice. To avoid trouble or risk yourself and everyone you live with from the cold, you need to know the signs that your equipment is already due for replacement.

Now that’s a very old furnace! (photo credit:

Yes, to make sure the environment in your home is comfortable and healthy, you need a furnace or boiler that’s efficient, safe, and operating at the optimum level. The equipment has to be good enough to heat the home without the need to use up a lot of energy and fuel source.

So without further ado, here are the signs and the questions to ask about furnace or boiler replacement.

From, the key is knowing the warning signs of a heating equipment that is already due for replacement. The factors to consider are age and the energy bills you’re paying.

It is important to be aware of some warning signs from your oil or natural gas furnace that indicate it may need replacing. A cold, snowy winter night with a failing or faltering furnace is not the time to assess your heating system.

It pays to be prepared and information is the key to making a wise decision. Below are some “warning signs” that you should be looking for. Of course, not all of them may apply to your particular equipment but you may use them as a general rule of thumb to gauge just how much life you have left in your furnace:

1. How old is your furnace?

A good place to start is to compare your oil or natural gas furnace age to the national average. The average life expectancy of furnaces in homes today is between 16 and 20 years. If your furnace is close to this age or older, you should begin shopping. Shopping for a replacement furnace in an emergency does not allow time for you to make your best decision. Most people prefer to replace their furnace as a planned home improvement rather than a panic replacement when your furnace is faltering or has already failed. The typical lifespan of a warm air furnace will vary based on its operating environment, that’s why it’s important to have the system serviced regularly by a qualified technician. They will be able to properly assess the condition of the furnace and make any recommendations.

2. Are your energy bills going up?

Rising energy costs are not the only reason for high bills. Furnaces often lose their efficiency as they age, especially if they have not been properly maintained. As a result your oil or natural gas furnace may run longer to provide the same amount of heat. This will cause your energy bills to go up. And, all of the money you pay your energy utility companies every month could be used to help you pay for a new, much more energy-efficient and energy saving furnace.

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For any type of heating equipment, there is no such thing as forever. Even if you count on the fact that you purchased it as the most expensive one, it still needs to be replaced when the time comes. That time is usually 15 years. So if you happen to be shopping for a new one, don’t believe the salesperson who’s trying to convince you that his product can last up to 30 years.

Should You Go For a Repair First?

But in case your heating equipment is relatively new, perhaps under 10 years old, it means that the unit is expected to be energy efficient and completely functioning. When it suddenly breaks down or you feel like consumption of energy is higher than expected, you should call an HVAC professional to have it checked first. There are instances when there’s only a minor issue, which in turn can be solved with repairs instead of replacement. Again, the key factor here is the age of your unit.

Are you spending more money on heating costs? (image credit:

Finally, the blog called American Air & Heat talked about another sign that your system needs replacement. This time, it is when you feel like the repairs have been so frequent that you lose track of the number of occasions in one year that you needed to have someone visit your home to check the equipment.

Costly, Frequent Repairs

As your heating system reaches that 15-to-20-year mark, it is more likely to break down or experience major issues. In other words, the older it gets, the more likely you’ll have to keep calling a technician to your home or business to repair the system. People often ask—when is a good time to replace my furnace or boiler? A good rule of thumb is that if your repair costs will exceed 50% of the cost of a new system, you might as well replace the unit.

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It makes perfect sense that you swallow and accept the upfront costs of having a new system installed instead of settling for constant repairs that will cost you the same amount after some time.