The cost of replacing a failing heating system is a serious consideration for most homeowners. According to a leading consumer organization, the current national average cost to replace a furnace is about $4,200. For households that are already financially stressed, this cost can seem insurmountable. If you are worried about the condition of your current furnace but even more worried about the cost of replacing it, these frugal tips can help.
Look for a repo or return
Like cars and appliances, pre-owned furnaces can be perfectly adequate for your needs but available at a much lower cost. A good policy for purchasing a pre-owned furnace is to always purchase it through a qualified furnace dealer or HVAC contractor who can certify the condition.
Homeowners who are considering buying a used furnace from another homeowner or other private party should consider having the unit professionally inspected before agreeing to the purchase.
Look for rebates and special incentives
Another way to potentially save a considerable amount of money on the cost of replacing a furnace is to actively look for any available rebates, tax credits, or special incentives that may be available.
An excellent place to begin your search includes area utility providers, who often provide significant rebates for replacement models that meet certain energy usage requirements. Many states also offer information to help homeowners within their state find available opportunities to save money on their HVAC replacement expenses.
Look at fuel costs
Another point to consider when homeowners know they need to replace their existing furnace but are worried about the cost is the current fuel cost and how it compares to other possible fuel options. If the existing furnace is electric, but natural gas or propane is less expensive to use for heat in your area, installing a new gas furnace may offer savings that would help to offset the cost of replacement.
Look at extending furnace life
If you have explored all these options and still feel that furnace replacement is not something you can afford to do at this point, finding a way to keep your current one operational may be able to help you get through one more heating season. To help you determine if your existing furnace can safely be used for one more year, homeowners should consider having it inspected and professionally serviced by a reputable heating contractor.
HVAC technicians can examine your system for wear or safety issues, and then make any repairs necessary to help ensure the furnace will continue to be a reliable heat source for your home until you can better afford to replace it.