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Should I Repair or Replace My Furnace?

Heating technician inspecting the inside of a furnace

Having some issues with your furnace lately, and wondering if you should repair or replace it? The decision can be tricky whether your heating output is spotty or your energy bills are higher than normal. You need to consider budget, performance, and life expectancy as well.

So, to help you make the right choice, let’s review some factors to help you determine the most cost-effective solution for your needs:

  • Age of your furnace
  • Efficiency of your furnace
  • Condition of your furnace
  • Your furnace’s warranties
  • Cost of repairs vs. replacement
  • Your household’s comfort

Want expert advice from Michigan’s trusted furnace experts?

Call Thornton & Grooms at (248) 644-7810 for fast and friendly service. Whether you need a furnace repair, furnace tune-up, or furnace replacement, our trustworthy technicians will provide you with honest advice and exceptional workmanship.

We’ve put Detroit Metro customers first for over 85 years, and we’d love to do the same for you. Schedule with us today to see why we have over eight thousand 5-star reviews!

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Age of Your Furnace

One of the most important factors in deciding whether to repair or replace your furnace is its age. If your furnace is more than 15 years old, it's probably time for a replacement. Because furnaces typically have a 15-20 year lifespan, they experience more problems and become less efficient with time.

Furnaces less than 15 years old may still be worth repairing, but it depends on the severity of the problem and how much money you're willing to spend. For example, if your furnace is only 10 years old but needs a major repair that will cost more than half the price of a new furnace, it probably makes more sense to replace it.

Efficiency of Your Furnace

Yellow EnergyGuide sticker with an 80 AFUE rating

Furnaces with high-efficiency ratings can help you reduce your bills.

Another important factor to consider is the efficiency of your furnace. Outdated furnaces are probably not very energy efficient, which means they will cost you more money to operate over time.

When considering a repair, ask your technician if they think it will improve the efficiency of your furnace or if you should upgrade to a high-efficiency furnace. A furnace with an Annual Fuel Utilization Rate (AFUE) rating above 85% is a high-efficiency system that can help reduce your monthly bills. Electric furnaces are the most efficient fuel type.

Learn more: How Much Does It Cost to Install a Furnace in Michigan?

Condition of Your Furnace

Landscape orientated white wall calendar hanging in a kitchen over a wire metal rack affixed with three brown clothespins.

Book regular furnace tune-ups to keep it at top-notch performance.

Furnace condition goes hand in hand with its age. Old furnaces are in poor condition, similar to sporadically maintained systems. These furnaces are likely not worth repairing as they will need more repairs in the future and eventually need replacement.

On the other hand, fairly new furnaces that need minor repairs are worth fixing because they will likely last for a decade and won't need replacement soon.

Whether you repair or replace your furnace, book regular system tune-ups to keep it performing at its best.

Learn how a furnace tune-up can help you save money in How Much Does a Furnace Tune-Up Cost in Michigan?

Your Furnace’s Warranties

Valid furnace warranties can help you cover the repairs for free or at a reduced cost. Having valid warranties is vital when deciding whether to repair or replace your furnace.

Even without a valid warranty, the manufacturer or contractor you want to hire may offer discounts on repairs and replacements. So, it's always worth asking about any furnace coupons that may be available. Many state and federal-level rebates and tax incentives also exist for furnaces. Your repair or installation contractor can help you review your eligibility status. For example, Thornton & Grooms will handle rebates for our furnace installation customers.

Cost of Repairs vs. Replacement

A couple sitting next to each other at a table, drinking coffee, and reviewing their energy bills with a notebook and laptop

Remember to consider how a furnace upgrade can reduce energy bills.

Of course, one of the biggest factors you'll need to consider is the cost of repairs vs. the cost of replacement. Sometimes, it's cheaper to replace your furnace rather than repair it.

To better understand the costs involved, you'll need a furnace repair and replacement estimate from a trustworthy HVAC company. Then, you can compare costs and decide which option is more affordable.

Remember that the initial cost isn't the only thing you need to consider. It helps to think long-term, such as the cost of operating an inefficient furnace or a more efficient replacement. A highly-efficient furnace can help you save on monthly bills, which is important as gas prices rise across the board. Plus, home buyers are looking for energy-efficient features, which Zillow has found to increase the speed and cost of selling a house.

Your Household’s Comfort

Person holding a white mug while having their white-socked feet up on a wooden windowsill full of candles, looking out to a snowy pined landscape.

Your furnace should keep up with your heating demands.

Finally, you have to think about your household's comfort. After all, a furnace’s ability to keep you warm during long and harsh Michigan winters is the reason you have one.

When a furnace can’t keep up with your heating demands, this factor alone may dictate your choice to replace it. Or maybe your household frequently fights over the thermostat, and upgrading the furnace to include zoned heating features will keep the peace.

The good news is that many companies offer flexible financing to help make your furnace replacement more easily affordable. Depending on your credit, you may qualify for low or no-interest financing plans, so it’s worth looking into your options.


Want honest advice about whether to repair or replace your Michigan furnace?

Thornton & Grooms technicians wearing branded button-up shirts and hats

Contact Thornton & Grooms heating technicians for a stress-free furnace service.

Your home’s comfort system is a big investment, so if you’re feeling overwhelmed with whether to repair or replace your furnace, call Thornton & Grooms at (248) 644-7810 for trustworthy advice.

Our courteous and knowledgeable HVAC professionals will carefully review your existing furnace and provide you with our honest recommendations. We’ve been keeping Detroit Metro homeowners warm with high-quality furnace repairs, tune-ups, and replacements for over 85 years.

Schedule with us today to experience 5-star service backed by over eight thousand customer reviews!

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