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Proudly Serving The Columbia Area Since 1985


Fulmer Heating & Cooling Blog

Should I Fix My Old Furnace or Get a Heat Pump?


When your tried-and-true furnace doesn’t even turn on anymore, you have several options. You could replace it with another furnace, get a heat pump instead, or put off thinking about it until next heating season. Well, we hope you won’t put it off, but even if you do, you’ll need to choose between the first options then.

Let’s go over how to know if your furnace is salvageable and if not, what type of system you should replace it with. Beyond your budget, there are a few important factors to consider such as how long you intend to be in your home and if your household size may be changing.

Should I Fix My Furnace?

If your furnace is past the 15-year mark, it’s time to replace it. But if it’s younger than that, there’s a hard-and-fast rule that can easily tell you if your furnace is worth replacing. It’s called the rule of 5,000. 

Multiply the cost of a furnace repair estimate by the age of your furnace in years. For example, if the repair is $600 and the furnace is 10 years old, $600 multiplied by 10 is $6,000. Because $6,000 is more than $5,000, it’s more cost-effective to have the furnace replaced.

I Need a Replacement—Now What?

You have three options when it’s time to replace your home’s heating system. You can replace it with a furnace, a heat pump, or a mini split (i.e. a ductless heat pump). Rather than explain the pros and cons of each system, let’s go over some specific factors to consider.

How Long Will You Own Your Home?

Generally speaking, heat pumps and mini splits cost more than furnaces. For homeowners who plan to keep their homes for the next 10 years or for life, a heat pump is a wise investment in the longevity of your home comfort.

Heat pumps and mini splits last for 10–15 years. Why not choose a system that’ll keep you comfortable for the foreseeable future? Heat pumps are 2-in-1 systems which means they also provide air conditioning. You’ll be getting two systems for the price of one.

If you replaced your furnace with a heat pump and then had to sell your home in a couple of years, the fact that it has a heat pump will be a highly lucrative selling feature to a potential buyer.

Will Your Household Makeup Change?

Do you have kids that will be going to college soon? Or are you newlyweds who are planning to have children? Or perhaps you have an elderly parent who may be living with you someday. If so, take the time to consider how your home comfort needs may evolve over the coming years. 

If your household may decrease, a mini split option starts to look highly appealing. With these systems, you can control the temperature in only one room of your home at a time. But if your household is expanding, a furnace may be the better option since it has the power to quickly heat your entire house.

Still not sure what to do? Contact us for a professional opinion on your heating options!

Contact Fulmer Heating & Cooling today for furnace repairs in Columbia, SC!

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