Replace Heat Exchanger or Buy New Furnace?

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Replace Heat Exchanger or Buy New Furnace?

Category:General,Tips

Should you repair your furnace or would it be a better option to buy a new furnace? This is a very common question when it comes to our furnace systems for our home or business. Normally, furnace repair is the more logical and feasible option, but there are exceptions. One of those exceptions is when the heat exchanger has gone bad and needs to be replaced. 

If you are in the troubleshooting stages of determining if your heat exchanger is bad or cracked, check out this post: Cracked heat exchanger: symptoms and causes

Replacing the Heat Exchanger

The problem with replacing a heat exchanger in a furnace is that it isn’t a simple furnace repair job. It can take anywhere from 5-8 hours to perform the job and cost over $2000 to complete the job. Replacing a heat exchanger is probably the most difficult and labor-intensive repair job to perform on a furnace. This is why considering buying a new furnace is recommended and not limiting yourself only to replacing the heat exchanger. 

Why Buy a New Furnace?

As you can see, replacing the heat exchanger can be quite the job when considering the time and money that it takes. For many people, replacing the heat exchanger can be very close to the same cost as replacing the furnace. It’s important to note that the efficiency (AFUE) of the furnace and the size of the furnace needed will obviously impact the price of the furnace, but replacing the furnace should definitely be considered.

For example, let’s say your home is a fairly normal size home and requires a 45 BTU furnace. Let’s say your local HVAC technician quoted you $2700  to have that furnace purchased and installed. If it costs around $2000 (or more) to replace the heat exchanger, then replacing the furnace for around $2700 is a viable option. 

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Now let’s get into some other factors to consider when trying to make this decision.

Factors to Consider

When deciding whether to replace the heat exchanger or buy a new furnace, take these factors into consideration:

The age of your current furnace: Most furnaces last anywhere from 10-15 years. Some last even longer. If your current furnace is close to 10 years old, then replacing the furnace would probably be the better option. It’s important to consider this factor with the rest of the factors as well.

The warranty of your current furnace: Pretty much all furnaces come with some sort of parts warranty. Usually the heat exchanger is one of the main parts that are covered under the warranty. Most warranties are at least 10 years in length. In most cases, the warranty is only honored if you registered the unit within the specified time frame from the date of purchase. If you aren’t sure, check with the manufacturer. And remember, most warranties only cover the cost of parts, not the labor required for the job.

The cost of replacing the heat exchanger vs. buying a new furnace: As I shared earlier, the cost of replacing the heat exchanger can be similar to that of replacing the furnace. This can vary depending on the size of the furnace needed and the efficiency (AFUE) you are looking for. For example, a high efficiency furnace can cost twice as much as a standard furnace. So, compare the costs of each option and consider the other factors listed here as well. This should help you determine what’s best for your specific situation.

Hope This Has Helped!

I really hope this has helped you in deciding whether to go with replacing the heat exchanger or buying a new furnace altogether. Remember to have your local HVAC contractor come out and give you a free estimate and recommendation on this matter as well. They can provide you with specific advice and recommendations for your particular situation. 

If you live in or around the Jackson TN area, feel free to give us a call at 731-300-1030 or simply fill out the service call form on this page and we will get back to you ASAP. Your satisfaction is our goal!


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