What Age is Old?
HOME COMPONENTS TYPICALLY GO KAPUT BY THE AGES BELOW, THOUGH WELL-CARED-FOR PREMIUM BRANDS MAY LAST A BIT LONGER.
Furnace & Boiler - Average Life Expectancy 15-20 Years, Replacement Cost $2,000-$8,000
- AGING EQUIPMENT... An old heating or cooling system is costly to operate - and the risk of a breakdown increases with age. But as long as your old furnace, boiler, or AC is operating safely, there's no rush to upgrade.
- Danger signs The system cycles on and off frequently to hold your thermostat setting; you spot corrosion on the vent pipe; the natural-gas flames are yellow or orange instead of pure blue.
- How to check - Get a repair estimate: if it's more than a third of the replacement cost, spring for a new machine, says Indianapolis plumber Larry Rowald.
- Replacement cost - Tipically $2,000 to $4,000 for a furnace (forced air); $4,000 to $8,000 for a boiler (hot water); $1,000 to $8,000 for a water heater;
$6,000 to $10,000 for an air conditioner.
- Prolong its life -Have your systems cleaned and tuned annually, including flushing the water heater to remove sludge, replacing all filters, and lubricating any pumps.
Reprinted from CNNmoney.com, January/February 2012 issue.