November 8, 2022
By Mark Paup

Should I Repair or Replace My Furnace in Iowa?

Updated January 18, 2024

Are you on the fence about repairing your furnace or installing a new one? It can be a tough call to make, especially if your system is relatively new and has received regular system checks. However, once a system is past the 15-year mark, you can expect an increase in repair and upkeep costs.

While the best options for Iowa homeowners will vary, the most common reasons to choose a replacement over a repair include:

  • Your furnace is over 15 years old
  • Your furnace has high repair bills
  • Your heating bills have increased
  • You want to sell your home
  • You are eligible for rebates

In this blog, we’ll explain the factors above, including a rule of thumb for choosing the most cost-effective option.

Want an HVAC professional’s advice?

Contact Golden Rule! We’ve proudly served Des Moines Metro area homeowners for 20+ years.

Our professional HVAC technicians are ready to help inspect your current system and help you assess whether you need a furnace repair or replacement. If you need a replacement, we provide convenient financing options to make your next system as affordable as possible.

Call us today at 515-393-4526 to see why we have over five thousand 5-star reviews!

Contact Us Today for Furnace Service!

Your Furnace Is Over 15 Years Old

Furnaces in Iowa last between 15 to 20 years on average. However, just because a furnace is old doesn’t necessarily mean it needs replacement. Well-maintained furnaces can perform past 20 years.

As your furnace approaches the end of its lifespan, you’re more likely to be frustrated with its performance and lack of energy efficiency. If you routinely experience two or more of the following, it’s time to invest in a new furnace:

  • Your energy bills keep increasing every winter and are becoming a burden
  • You pay for more frequent repairs and no longer have a valid manufacturer or parts warranty to help reduce the bills
  • Your home has heating “dead zones” with uneven temperatures and rooms that never seem to be warm enough

Once you install a new furnace, you can help it last longer with regular heating system checks and filter changes.

Your Furnace Has High Repair Bills

High repair bills are the primary reason many homeowners replace their systems. So, how high is “too high” for repair bills? Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow: When a repair is more than 50% of a replacement, buying a brand-new furnace is the best return on investment because it helps you reduce repair costs for another 15 years.

For example, a repair that costs $350 for a 12-year-old furnace would be $4,200. Since a furnace installation costs $7,000 on average in Iowa, this is well above the 50% rule. You’d be better off replacing the system, especially if it needs repairs every few months, indicating that it’s close to the end of its lifespan.

Your Heating Bills Have Increased

Older furnaces are less energy efficient, so you’ll pay higher energy bills. While it’s normal to see your bills fluctuate slightly over time, it’s not normal to see a continuous spike every winter despite your energy usage habits staying the same. If you do, that’s a telltale sign that your furnace may need replacement—especially if you’re making budget cuts elsewhere to pay for these higher energy costs.

According to MidAmerican Energy Company, the average heating bill for Iowa residents is around $116. So, depending on how your energy costs stack up to others in the area, don’t hesitate to contact Golden Rule to learn about your highly efficient furnace and smart thermostat options. To maintain your new furnace’s efficiency, book regular heating system checks.

You Want to Sell Your Home

Do you want to sell your home in the next year or two? Choosing to replace a furnace that performs suboptimally can be a great idea for making your home more attractive to buyers, also potentially increasing your home’s value. It makes your home move-in ready, reducing the friction between the buyer and seller.

Zillow found that eco-friendly and energy-efficient features in homes can help homes sell up to 10 days faster and for 1% or more than expected. Buyers are more conscious of their ecological footprint and inflation rates than ever before, so they seek features that reduce their monthly energy bills. Almost 70% of buyers in their recent report for consumer housing trends stated that an energy-efficient home is a high priority for them.

Beyond more energy-efficient HVAC systems, you can install tankless water heaters, programmable or smart thermostats, and smart lights to help sell your home faster or for more.

Or maybe you want to retire soon? Instead of dipping into your retirement funds, later on, to purchase a new furnace, buy one now to not worry about for 15-20 years.

You Are Eligible for Rebates

You may be eligible for rebates and other tax credit incentives for high-efficiency furnace systems. In 2023, the High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Act (HEEHRA) will be available for low- to moderate-income households that make less than their area’s median family income. HEEHRA will cover 50%-100% of the costs associated with installing electric HVAC systems. Golden Rule can help you determine which rebates and financing options you can use for budget-friendly furnace installations.

Contact Golden Rule for Same‑Day Furnace Services

If you’re unsure whether you need a furnace repair or replacement, contact Golden Rule. Our HVAC technicians receive extensive training for all furnace brands and models, and they have serviced Des Moines Metro homeowners for over 20 years.

We back up our work with over five thousand 5-star Google reviews, 1-year labor warranties, and 100% satisfaction guarantees. Our team can help you find the best system for your budget and home with financing options and local or federal rebates.

Call us today at 515-393-4526!

Contact Us Today for Furnace Service!

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