Should I Repair or Replace My Furnace?

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Furnace Decision

We all know what the wrath of a Canadian winter can bring, and the last thing you want during these extreme cold warnings is for your furnace to break down. Be proactive and evaluate the health of your furnace before the season strikes. Here are 4 factors that can help you determine if you should repair your existing furnace, or take the plunge and buy a new one.

Carbon Monoxide

Let’s start with the most urgent reason to take a look at your furnace. If you suspect your furnace is releasing carbon monoxide into your home, it needs to be replaced. Without a question. It can endanger the safety of your family and it’s the easiest to diagnose.

If you notice a yellow flame in your furnace there is most likely a carbon monoxide leak. Your furnace flame should be blue with a slight yellow glow at the tip of the flame. Most often a broken combustion chamber is the culprit and the furnace must be replaced immediately.


Efficiency can have you questioning if you should repair or replace. Or depending on the age of your furnace, inefficiency. If you find there are spaces in your home that aren’t heated evenly or that you’re constantly reaching to change the thermostat, there may be an efficiency issue.

If you’re looking for some hard evidence, take a quick look at last year’s heating bill. If the bill is getting larger every year it could be an indicator that there’s a problem.

Just like people, older furnaces must work harder to do the same job they did when they were young. They will run harder, more often and that utility bill will continue climbing. Make the call and have your furnace evaluated.

As a general rule of thumb, if your furnace is less than 15 years old and the cost of the repair is less than 50% of the cost of a replacement, repair your unit to extend its life. If you have an older model, and the repairs exceed 50% of the cost of a new furnace, replace it with a modern, more efficient one! Crystal offers a range of cost effective High Efficiency options and can help you choose the perfect one for your home.

Keep in mind, you may be eligible for a tax credit if you purchase a High Efficiency system. On top of that, an HE furnace will cut down you heating bill. If you’re not yet convinced, compare the AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) of your old system with a new one. Often your older model has a 70-80% AFUE and a newer HE model by law must operate at 90% or higher.

If your furnace still has a good efficiency rating, call in a repair and prolong the expense of a new system. If your furnace’s efficiency is ancient, save the money in the long run and make the switch.

Future Sale of your Home

If you’re looking to sell your home in the next few years and you’re noticing your furnace may be on its last legs, you may want to consider replacing. Upgrading your system to a new high efficiency model may not skyrocket the value of your home, but it will definitely make it more attractive to prospective buyers. It becomes leverage when selling, and you get the benefits of a more friendly utility bill at the end of the month!

Repair Frequency

As furnaces age, they will without a doubt acquire more wear and tear. If yours is more than 15 years old, if may begin to demand more expensive repairs more frequently. This will lead to more repetitive attention and you may spend less in the long run to replace the system.

If the cost of repair begins to near the $1000 mark you should seriously consider a new furnace- save yourself the future heartache of several repair bills a year until you come to this conclusion.

Again, in many situations you can refer back to the rule of thumb. If the cost of the repair is over 50% of the cost to replace, go out and get yourself a newer model.

Crystal Can Help

Our associates at Crystal would be more than happy to help you select a new furnace, should you need it. We’re here to give you the highest level of service and use our knowledge to offer a system that will make your more home comfortable. Check out the Crystal Home Reno Rebate section to see if you’re eligible to save even more on a new high efficiency furnace.