A furnace is a major home appliance, so it can be very expensive. If you need to replace your furnace, it’s perfectly understandable to want to save some money. However, not all strategies for saving money during a furnace replacement are wise. Making the wrong decision can actually end up costing you more money in the future. Before you buy a used furnace, there are a few things you need to know.
A Used Furnace Isn’t Necessarily Cheaper
Typically, the price tag for a used furnace will be lower than the cost of a new furnace. However, a used furnace will inevitably break down sooner. To see if you’re actually saving money, you need to consider the lifespan of the furnace. For example, if you buy a used furnace for $100 less than a new one, but it breaks after a year, you’re wasting money. At that point, you would’ve been better off just spending a little extra to get a new furnace that would’ve lasted you for years.
Of course, most cases aren’t as cut and dry. To see if a furnace is worth it, you’ll need to do a bit of math. Divide the cost of a comparable new model by the 20 years you could expect it to last. This will give you a rough estimate of how much the furnace costs per year. Then divide the cost of the used furnace by the number of years it has left. If this number is higher than the cost per year of the new model, a used furnace isn’t worth it.
Used Furnaces Have Some Unique Risks
In many situations, buying used items is an easy, fast way to save money. However, furnaces are a little different from other products. The issue with furnaces is that they’re such powerful pieces of equipment. If you purchase a used microwave that breaks, it will probably just not warm your food. When a furnace breaks, the results are a lot more disastrous.
Furnaces use combustible material to produce heat, so this comes with some inherent risks. A furnace that operates incorrectly can start a fire, leak poisonous gas into your house, or even explode. So you have to be cautious about purchasing a used furnace. They have a higher chance of breaking compared to a new furnace, so you’re more likely to encounter major issues. Most manufacturers don’t design furnaces to be moved around a lot. The stress of removing and reinstalling a furnace can put some extra wear and tear on the equipment, making an accident more likely.
Not Every Used Furnace Is Equal
Though you need to exercise caution when buying a used furnace, there are still plenty of chances to find good deals. Some used furnaces can be in great condition and work reliably for years while others will require furnace repairs almost immediately. To get a quality furnace, you need to be prepared to do more research. Taking the time and effort to find a reputable seller and a reliable furnace is definitely worth it.
To find a safe furnace, your best choice is usually to buy a used furnace through a professional furnace refurbisher. Buying from an expert ensures that someone has had the chance to carefully examine the furnace and identify dangerous defects. Meanwhile, if you buy a random furnace on a peer-to-peer sales app, things are a lot more hit or miss. Getting a used furnace from a private seller makes it more likely for you to encounter scams. Even well-meaning sellers might easily overlook major problems.
Finding a Reputable Installer Can Be Tough
If you want to save money by buying a used furnace, you also need to consider installation. Getting an installer for a used furnace can take a little more time and money than you might expect. Professional furnace installers won’t just hook up any random piece of equipment that you give them. They have a duty to keep people safe, so they won’t want to help you run a potentially faulty furnace. A professional installer will generally not want to expose themselves—and their license—to potential legal consequences that may arise from installing a furnace that they didn’t sell.
Some furnace installers will entirely refuse to work with used equipment. You might have to call around to a few HVAC companies to find a licensed technician who will help you. Even if a company does, they usually have some rules. You might have to pay for extra inspections or additional furnace fittings to ensure the used furnace will be safe, and you will almost certainly have to sign several liability waivers.
The Warranty Probably Won’t Help If You Have Issues
Another thing that you’ll need to be aware of is the lack of a warranty. Even if the furnace is only a year or two old, you probably cannot get a manufacturer’s warranty for it. Most furnace companies specify that the warranty only covers the original installation location for the furnace. Moving the furnace or selling it to someone else can void the warranty.
Having an out-of-warranty furnace is not automatically a huge issue. As long as the furnace works just fine, you might not even notice the lack of a warranty. However, if your furnace breaks, you will probably find that the manufacturer won’t cover furnace repairs even for issues that were their fault. You can partially reduce the risk of this happening by picking a reputable furnace model. However, for extra protection, buy another warranty for your equipment.
A Used Furnace Might Not Be Very Efficient
As you search to find the most affordable furnace, make sure you remember operating costs. Picking a furnace is about more than just the cost of equipment. You’ll also have to pay a regular fee to run the furnace during chilly months. The furnace you pick will have a big impact on operating costs because inefficient furnaces use more fuel. Therefore, selecting the wrong furnace could end up costing you hundreds of extra dollars over the course of the furnace’s lifetime.
Older furnaces are less efficient simply because there have been a lot of advancements in furnace design lately. Picking a model from 10 years ago usually means resigning yourself to higher operating costs. Something else to keep in mind is furnace size. When you’re shopping for used furnaces, you have fewer options to choose from. If you end up settling for an undersized or oversized furnace, the incorrectly sized furnace can end up wasting fuel as it struggles to warm your house correctly.
If you’re looking for an affordable furnace replacement, Beyer Air Conditioning & Heating is happy to help. Our team can discuss your options and help you find a safe furnace that works with your budget. Besides furnace installations, we also provide San Antonio residents with a variety of other services. You can count on us for reliable heating and cooling installations, repairs, and maintenance. Call us schedule your appointment.