Repair Or Replace Your Inefficient Gas Heater?

It seems to be an unfortunate corollary to Murphy's Law that your gas heater will give up the ghost on one of the chilliest days of the year -- or perhaps a holiday weekend. When faced with a rattling, dying heater, how can you decide whether to repair it or replace it with a new, more efficient one?

Read on for some considerations to use in making this decision, as well as information on the types of efficient heaters now available:

How can you decide whether to repair or replace?

This decision centers on three factors: cost, time to fix, and severity of the problem. If a minor or quick fix is all that is needed to get your heater back into working condition, repair seems like a no-brainer. By that same token, if repairing means that your heater will be out of commission for weeks, or cost nearly as much as a replacement, purchasing a new heater is certainly the best option.

However, these issues aren't always so cut and dry. What begins as a quick fix may end up taking longer and being more expensive than anticipated, or even reveal newer problems. 

When your heater begins to have problems, often the best indication of which path you should choose is the age of your heater.  A newer heater should still have years of life after a repair, while a 20- or 30-year-old heater may not only be closing on the end of its useful life, but be costing you money with its inefficiency and wasted energy. If your older heater is having problems, fixing it may just be throwing good money after bad. 

If you replace your furnace, what factors should be considered in your selection?

If you do make the decision to purchase a new furnace, you may be amazed at the array of available options. Here are some features you may wish to consider when making a selection. 

  • Efficiency

You can browse available furnaces by efficiency at the Energy Star website. Unlike many older furnaces which may be only about 50 percent efficient, some new furnaces are available at up to 98 percent efficiency -- meaning that only about 2 percent of the heat produced is wasted. 

  • Available tax credits

You may be able to get a deduction on your federal income taxes if you purchase a newer, efficient furnace. 

  • Cost of installation

When pricing installation costs, be sure to see if these include removal and disposal of your current furnace. You may be eligible for an additional tax credit if you recycle your old furnace. For more help, contact a company such as Advanced Appliance Service Inc. with any questions or concerns you might have.

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