The Heating System Conundrum: Repair or Replace?

Uh oh. You’ve come home to a cold house, and even though you’ve cranked up the thermostat, the heat isn’t coming on. You know that your heating system is getting older, but how do you know if it’s just in need of professional repair, or if it’s time to replace your furnace or boiler altogether? Here are some signs to look for when considering a heating equipment repair versus a whole heating system replacement.

When to Consider Repairing Your Heating Equipment


  • Your Equipment Is under 12 Years Old. In general, the average life span of a heating system is around 12 years. If your equipment is under 12 years of age, your equipment is still considered serviceable.
  • Your Energy Bills Are Consistent. If you haven’t seen any great fluctuation in your heating bills (other than usual cold weather spikes), it’s a good sign that your system is generally functioning as it should.
  • Your System Has Been Properly Maintained. If you’ve properly cared for your heating equipment, you’re more likely to have success with a system repair. Proper care includes annual maintenance by a qualified professional to ensure your system is running smoothly, filters are cleaned or replaced, and any broken or damaged parts are replaced. Regularly maintaining your heating equipment helps keep major system problems to a minimum.

When to Consider Replacing Your Heating Equipment


  • Your Equipment Is Getting Old. If your furnace or boiler is older than the average life expectancy of 12 years, and particularly if it’s between 16-20 years old, it’s definitely time to consider a replacement. The good news is that newer furnaces are built to last longer than their older counterparts, which means you won’t have to worry about replacing it again for several years.
  • Your Energy Bills Are Getting Higher. If your monthly energy bills are increasing but your usage has remained consistent, that means that your system’s efficiency is declining, which is a telltale sign that there is an underlying issue with the equipment. On the plus side, new furnaces and boilers are more efficient than ever, and you could even see a drop in your energy bills when you upgrade to a high-efficiency system.
  • You’re Dealing with Frequent Breakdowns. If you’ve had to call for professional repair more than once or twice in a year, it might be a more cost-effective decision to upgrade to a new heating system sooner than later.
  • You’re Cold. If you feel like it’s getting colder in your home even though your thermostat remains set to the same temperature, your heating system isn’t performing as it should. Consider a new system to ensure your family stays comfortable throughout the winter months.
  • Your System Is Making Strange Noises. Unusual clangs, bangs, clanks, hums, and whirrs are NEVER a good sign! Upgrade to a new heating system and enjoy a little peace and quiet with your comfort.

Whether you choose to repair or replace your heating equipment, or if you’re still unsure which option is best, contact the experts at Arbor Energy and we’ll be happy to assist with a repair, installation, or diagnosis.