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Healthy Homes: Furnace efficiencies and how to save money

In this segment we talk about furnace efficiencies and making sense of whether its worth it or not to replace your furnace.  (Photo: WEYI/WSMH)

If its still working, leave it alone!

Never has there been a statement that costed homeowners tens of thousands of dollars ever year in wasted energy dollars.

In this segment we talk about furnace efficiencies and making sense of whether its worth it or not to replace your furnace.

The $5000 Rule. There’s a calculation that some contractors go by and it’s also stated on Angie's List that If you run into needing a furnace repair, multiply the repair cost by the age of the furnace.

If the total exceeds $5000, then you should look at replacing your system as opposed to repairing it.

For example:

A 10 year old furnace with a $350 repair cost, would amount to only $3500.

That’s less than $5000 so a repair would be the best way to go, but in another example lets take that same repair, but now apply it to a 15 year old furnace. 15 x 350 = $5250. Too much!

Considering that the average furnace life is between 15 and 20 years, your money would be better served in replacing it with a higher efficiency furnace that would save money on your bills and eliminate your repair cost.

A 78% efficient , 20 year old furnace is now estimated at operating only about 63% efficiency.

That means you’re wasting 37% or 37 cents on every dollar every time your furnace turns on.

Why replace it if its still working?

Well, when you consider replacing it with a furnace that’s 96% efficient and now you’re only wasting 4 cents of every dollar, that can amount to a savings of $3 - $500 per year on your gas bills, that’s why!

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