As the weather in Nevada begins to cool and we start relying more heavily on our furnaces to keep us warm, it’s only a matter of time before something goes wrong. If you are faced with a broken furnace, you may be wondering whether it is better to invest in furnace repair Reno, NV or replace the unit entirely. As is often the case, the answer is “it depends.”
Factors that Affect the Decision
It is important to be aware of all the factors influencing your decision to make the best choice for your home or business. Ask yourself the following questions:
How old is your furnace?
Furnaces have an average life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. If yours is on the older end of this spectrum, replacing it may make more sense. Models with an AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) of 80% or higher are considered high-efficiency models. While they cost more upfront, you can save money in the long run because they use less energy.
But if your unit is less than 10 years old, it may still have a lot of life left in it, and furnace repair Reno, NV can be the best option. This is especially true if it is a higher-efficiency model. You can easily find the AFUE rating on the manufacturer’s label.
How often has it needed repairs in the past?
Even the best-maintained furnaces will need occasional repairs. But if you have been shelling out for repair multiple times in recent months, a replacement might be what you need, particularly for major components like the heat exchanger.
However, you can get away with furnace repair Reno, NV a few times before you need complete replacement. Just be sure to keep an eye on repair costs. They should never exceed half the price of a new furnace.
What is the cost of the repairs?
Let’s say your furnace is only a few years old and has been working well until recently. But now, it needs a new heat exchanger, which is a major component. This part alone could cost you $1,500 or more. If your furnace is only going to last another five years or so, it might be time to replace the unit.
On the other hand, if you have an older furnace that needs only a few relatively inexpensive repairs, it could be more cost-effective to keep repairing it for now. The key is to weigh the cost of repairs against the cost of replacement. As mentioned, it shouldn’t cost more than half as much to repair your furnace as it would to replace the unit.
Are the parts still available?
This is where age comes into play again. Furnaces over 15 years old may not have all the parts available that they need. In this case, replacement is probably your best option. Certain components may be available to use, but they may not work as well or last as long as new parts. The heat exchanger, for example, is a key component often unavailable for older furnaces.
Furnace repair Reno, NV may still be possible if you can find a qualified professional who can fabricate the parts you need. But this could end up being more expensive than just replacing the unit.
How efficient is the furnace?
Older furnaces can be as low as 56% efficient. For every $100 you spend on fuel, only $56 goes towards heating your home. The rest is wasted. On the other hand, high-efficiency furnaces are 90% efficient or higher. This means that $90 of every $100 you spend on fuel goes towards heating your home.
If you have an older, less efficient heating system, replacing it with a new, high-efficiency model might be ideal. Not only will this be better for the environment, but you’ll also save a big chunk on your energy bills.
What is the condition of the rest of your HVAC system?
Are your ducts in good condition? Are your registers clean and unobstructed? Is your thermostat working properly? These are all factors to consider when deciding whether to replace or get furnace repair Reno, NV.
If your unit is the only thing that needs to be replaced, then that’s what you should do. But if your entire HVAC system is outdated, it might be time for a whole-house upgrade. This is something you should discuss with a professional HVAC contractor.
Does the furnace use outdated technology?
Outdated technologies such as pilot lights, standing pilots, and single-stage burners can drain your energy bills. They also require more maintenance. If your furnace uses one of these technologies, it may be time for an upgrade.
Newer technologies such as electronic ignitions, modulating burners, and variable-speed blowers help furnaces run more efficiently. They also reduce wear and tear, which means fewer repairs down the road. Not to mention the fact that they often come with longer warranties than older technologies.
Are you planning on moving soon?
Perhaps you’re planning on selling your home shortly or moving to a new home. In this case, it might not be worth putting money into furnace repair Reno, NV. It could be better just to leave the furnace as is and let the new owners deal with it. However, many homeowners prefer to have a new furnace installed before they put their home on the market. This can be a selling point for potential buyers. Depending on your situation, it may or may not be worth it to replace the furnace before you sell.
Are there rebates or tax credits available?
Nevada offers a few different rebates for energy-efficient furnaces. There are also federal tax credits available for certain high-efficiency models. These can offset the cost of a new furnace, making it more affordable.
For instance, in Reno, Nevada, you could get up to $1,000 back from NV Energy when you install a new, high-efficiency furnace. There’s also a federal tax credit of up to $500 available for certain models. So, if you’re considering a new furnace, be sure to check for rebates and tax credits first. You can also talk to your contractor about financing options that can help make a new unit more affordable.
Tips for Maintaining Your Furnace to Avoid Future Problems
You surely don’t want to end up searching for “furnace repair near me Reno, NV” anytime soon. Fortunately, you can do a few things to maintain your unit and avoid future problems. Here are a few tips:
- Check the filter monthly at least once a month, and clean or replace it as necessary. A clean filter will help your furnace run more efficiently and prevent dirt and debris from clogging it up.
- Ensure that all the vents in your home are clear of furniture, rugs, and other items that could block airflow. Blocked vents can cause your system to work harder than it needs to, ultimately leading to a breakdown.
- Inspect the blower belt annually and replace it once frayed or damaged. A worn blower belt can cause the blower motor to overheat and fail.
- Replace the thermostat batteries on a regular basis or as needed. Weak batteries can cause inaccurate temperature readings and make it difficult for your heating unit to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.
- Lubricate the blower motor bearings with a light oil such as 3-in-1 oil or WD-40 to keep the motor running smoothly and prolong its life.
- Have a professional HVAC contractor inspect and clean the furnace burners every two years. Dirty burners can cause soot buildup and reduce furnace efficiency.
- Test the furnace safety switch every month by turning off the power to the furnace at the breaker box and then trying to turn on the unit. The safety switch should prevent your furnace from turning on if it’s been turned off at the breaker box.
- Schedule an annual tune-up and maintenance each year to keep your unit from breaking down and ensure that it functions as efficiently as possible. It should be performed by a qualified HVAC technician and include a thorough cleaning of all the parts and a safety check.
- Know the warning signs that your furnace is in need of repair. Common symptoms of a problem include strange noises, uneven heating, frequent cycling, excessive dust, and high utility bills. If you notice any of these problems, call a furnace repair Reno, NV contractor as soon as possible to have the issue diagnosed and repaired.
In Need of Furnace Repair Services? Turn to Our Experts!
Being in the HVAC industry for almost three decades enables us to offer you the best quality furnace repair in Reno, NV. We can help you with any problem you may have with your unit and get it up and running in no time.
We are an authorized dealer to some of the biggest furnace brands in the country, so you can be sure that we know what we’re doing. Whether it is a loose wire, a clogged filter, or something more serious, our team of highly trained and experienced technicians will be able to fix it. Give us a call at (775) 984-8010 to schedule a service call today!