How Do I Know When to Replace My Furnace?

How do you know when it’s time to buy a new furnace? It’s a serious question when Minnesota temperatures easily dip below zero during the winter months. The last thing you want is to wake up shivering in the night to a furnace that has made its final run. It’s just as painful to receive those utility bills after blasting the heat to make up for an inefficient unit. The average furnace lasts 15 to 20 years. If your unit is nearing retirement, it may be time to update to a newer, more efficient system.

A more efficient furnace will save you money in the long-term, despite the initial cost. If you have one of these furnaces though, there are no ifs, ands, or buts it is time for that purchase. These models are taking their final bow:

  • Old coal burners that were previously switched over to oil or gas
  • Gas furnaces without electronic ignition. If it has a pilot light, it was probably installed prior to 1992 and has an efficiency of about 65 percent annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). To put into perspective, the least efficient systems today are 80 percent AFUE.
  • Gas furnaces without vent dampers or an induced draft fan.

Some other key indicators that you need to upgrade your furnace include:

  • Your furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old.
  • Your heat pump is more than 10 years old.
  • Your equipment requires frequent repairs. A furnace might not be worth keeping if a repair cost approaches 50 percent of its value.
  • Your energy bills have steadily increased.
  • Some rooms in your home are too hot or cold.

Upgrading from a 70 percent annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) unit to a 90 percent AFUE model could save you about 20 percent on heating costs every month.  If that doesn’t convince you, think about this. If all Americans upgraded to the standards proposed in the DOE Furnace Efficiency Law, we would save an estimated $10.7 billion in lower heating bills and avoided the emission of somewhere between 81 to 130 million metric tons of global warming carbon pollution over the next three decades. Significant reasons to make the investment for a newer, more efficient furnace.

If you’re interested in learning more about any of these products or technologies, contact your local Minnesota Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer. You can find the one closest to you at

Minnesota furnace repair

For more energy saving and home comfort tips, visit! Stay Comfy, Minnesota is your Minnesota resource for air conditioning repair, furnace repair and HVAC tips and advice.

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