Time for a furnace replacement or repair?
Here are 5 warning signs to watch out for


Spending your hard-earned money to repair or replace a furnace may be one of the last things any of us wants to do. But, often, investing now can save much more – hassle, stress and money – down the road.

Before you make any decisions, however, it’s a great idea to find out just how serious your furnace’s problems really are and whether you can get by with a simple furnace repair rather than replacing the entire unit.

Here are a few warning signs to point you in the right direction:

1. Furnace growing older

Month after month, year after year, we’re not the only ones showing the subtle signs of aging. Furnaces do, too. It’s only natural. With Canada’s cold winter climate, a furnace needs to continually work hard to keep you and your family comfortable. But it’s not just winter that poses challenges for your furnace. Your furnace is also an integral part of your venting and cooling system, which means it’s working when your air conditioner is too, all through the summer months.

Nevertheless, even with all the work it puts in, day after day, a furnace’s lifespan can be approximately 21.5 years, but many factors affect its longevity. Does your furnace have a pilot light? Then it may mean it’s over 25 years old and likely missing newer features that help make today’s furnaces more energy efficient.

It’s a good idea to start thinking about a furnace replacement after 15 years, particularly if you begin noticing increased costs associated with repairs. Preparing for the purchase in advance also helps you save up for it. When the time does come, consider replacing your old unit with an ENERGY STAR® qualified model, which is more efficient than an entry level furnace and can help you make a significant dent in your utility costs.

2. Mounting furnace repairs

Have you needed any furnace repairs in the last two years? You’re not alone. Often, when a furnace is nearing the end of its life, it breaks down and needs repairs more frequently. If you’ve recently had one part of your furnace replaced only to discover that something else needs to be repaired, it could mean it’s time for a new unit.

Another sign it may be time to consider a replacement is waiting to get parts replaced. As older models age, finding replacement parts becomes a bigger challenge. Consider a protection plan for your system to protect yourself against unexpected and mounting repair costs – Reliance offers Heating & Cooling Protection and Maintenance plans that can cover most common repairs for your furnace and air conditioner. An annual maintenance plan, to ensure everything is working at optimal performance, is another good idea to help you save.

If, on the other hand, your unit still heats your home consistently and hasn’t needed frequent maintenance work, a repair or tune-up may be all you need for now.

3. Rust and noise

Banging. Popping. Rattling. Squealing. Strange noises coming from your furnace could be the result of worn or broken components or duct work not sized properly. A Reliance Home Comfort™ Specialist can help you figure out what’s wrong.

Rust is also a concern to watch for. Furnaces may develop rust over time which could be a sign that there is an issue, such as a condensate leak.

Consider a system tune-up from an expert you can trust – after all, your furnace is the heart of your home and requires attention as it starts to age.

Our Customers Say It Best:

“Thank you Dan, Kyle, and the Reliance team for saving our family hundreds of dollars, loads of time, and bringing us comfort and convenience in helping get our home to a more energy efficient system: Furnace, AC, and whole home humidifier. Everyone was very professional, punctual, flexible with our schedule and honest with their knowledge and recommendations. 10/10 all the way. Thank You!”


– Peter Dao

4. Rising utility bill costs

As utility rates rise, so could the cost savings from a newer more efficient furnace.

Consider an energy audit that can help you understand where you’re losing heat in your home and what you can do to increase the overall energy efficiency of your home. Regular maintenance can also help ensure you’re getting the best performance possible out of your heating and cooling equipment.

5. A dry or dusty home

If you have an older furnace you most likely also have older accessories like humidifiers and filters. Just like furnaces, there have been many advancements in indoor air quality technology over the years. You may notice that your home’s air feels stale or stuffy, or there’s frequent accumulation of dust, static shocks, drooping plants, or even musical instruments not staying in tune.

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