If your furnace is nearing the end of its life or had issues keeping your home sufficiently warm this past winter, now is a great time to think about replacing it. Furnaces typically only ever last around 15 years, and most units start to work less effectively and use more energy as they age. If your furnace is nearing the end of its life, you don't want to wait until winter to replace it since it could fail and leave you without heat for days. Replacing your furnace in the spring or summer is also a great way to save some money for reasons that we will now discuss.
If your furnace is more than 10 to 12 years old, replacing it with a new unit can greatly reduce your heating costs this next winter. This is especially true if you have a traditional furnace. Traditional furnaces typically have an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of around 80%. As of May 1, 2023, the minimum AFUE required for new furnaces in Minnesota and throughout the northern US is 90%. This means that upgrading to a new furnace could lower your annual heating costs by 10% or even more if you choose a higher-efficiency model.
The US federal government recently enacted new HVAC tax credits that went into effect on January 1, 2023. If your new furnace meets certain energy efficiency requirements, it will automatically qualify you for a tax credit worth up to $600. This credit is capped at a maximum of 30% of the purchase and installation cost of the new furnace, and the furnace will only qualify if it has an AFUE of 97% or higher.
Upgrading to a new furnace should lower your heating costs and save you money no matter what time of the year you have the unit installed. Similarly, your new unit will also qualify for the tax credit as long as it meets the requirements, no matter when it is installed. The real reason it is always best to schedule your furnace replacement during the spring or summer has to do with supply and demand.
The demand for new furnaces is always highest during the winter. The fact that the demand is lower in the summer means that most manufacturers offer lower prices or discounts on new units in the summer. If you wait until winter, you will typically find that the price for most any new furnace is at least a few hundred dollars more.
The other thing to consider is that the increased demand during the winter also means that the supply is also lower. This means that you may struggle to find a new furnace that is within your budget if you wait until winter to have your current unit replaced. If your furnace does give out in the winter, you also may be forced to go with whatever unit the HVAC contractor has in stock instead of being able to shop around and choose the best unit for your needs and your budget.
You also may be forced to choose whichever contractor can fit you into their schedule since most reputable HVAC companies tend to be booked solid in the middle of winter. This is also not ideal since you may be forced to go with a company that is less reputable or less experienced or one that charges higher rates. Most HVAC companies also charge higher rates for emergency services. This is yet another reason that it will usually cost you more if you suddenly need your furnace replaced in the winter.
If you are proactive and schedule the replacement in the summer and before your unit gives out, you should be able to save on both the new unit and the installation costs. You will also have the freedom to research and choose the best unit instead of being stuck with whatever is available.
At Bob Boldt HVAC, we specialize in furnace installation and carry a wide selection of units sure to meet your home's heating needs. We also install central air conditioners and ductless mini-splits, and we can also handle all of your heating and cooling maintenance and indoor air quality needs. We provide full written estimates for all services, and the price that we quote is always what you'll pay. To schedule a furnace installation consultation or any other HVAC service in the Eagan area, contact us today.
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