Frozen berries on a branch

Will Your Furnace Get You Through the Winter?

The last thing you want is your furnace breaking down in the middle of January. With wintertime temperatures routinely dropping well below freezing, you’ll want to be sure you can rely on your heating system to provide the comfort you need. Consider the following red flags that your furnace is due for a replacement before we settle into another wicked Hoosier winter.

Repairs are More Frequent and More Costly

As a car gets older, it will break down more often and the repair costs get higher and higher. The same goes for your furnace. If your system is over 15 years old and requires constant repairs, you need to think about replacing it. Here’s a good rule of thumb: If the repair cost is half that of a new system, replacement is usually the better option, especially with older systems. Today’s heating systems are significantly more efficient, saving you money in the long run.

Your Heating Bills Are Getting Higher Every Year

High heating bills can happen for a couple of reasons. Your current furnace may have a poor AFUE rating. That’s the annual fuel utilization efficiency. If the AFUE is 80, that means it burns 80 percent of the fuel to generate heat. The rest goes up the chimney as wasted fuel. Check the outside of the furnace for its AFUE rating. Many older furnaces run at 55 to 70 AFUE, while newer ones can be as high as 95.

The age of the system can also influence its efficiency. Older systems lose efficiency every year due to wear and tear. Some repairs will help with efficiency, but it's a losing battle.

Your Furnace Is Old Enough to Drink

Even the most well-maintained furnace will expire after a certain point. Most HVAC systems don’t last much longer than 15 to 20 years. Simply put, the older your system is, the more likely it is to break down. Check the manufacturer’s nameplate tag on the unit. Sometimes the date of manufacture will be apparent -- other times, it will take a little research using the serial number.

Bottom line: Your best bet is to have your heating system assessed by one of the pros from Complete Comfort. We’ll thoroughly examine your furnace to determine if it should be replaced or if it just needs a little maintenance. To schedule an appointment, call (317) 671-7552.