Tax credits make it a good time to replace your old furnace

INDIANAPOLIS - Two grand. That’s how much an average family spends on energy bills each year. If your jaw dropped, don’t worry -- there are tax credits in place right now that can help you replace your furnace.

After 10 years, Becky Schooley had to replace the furnace in her Brownsburg home.

"The company that installed the existing unit had put in one that was too large for this home," Schooley said.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) experts say you should look out for several things:

  • Rising bill payments because furnaces often lose their efficiency as they age
  • A furnace that breaks down more often
  • Constantly having to adjust the thermostat

"The average life of a heating and cooling system is somewhere between 12 to 18 years, so obviously, as you get older, things start to break down in your body,” Aaron York’s Quality Air representative Kris Conover said. “The same thing happens with heating and cooling equipment."

Before you replace your furnace, think through these tips from Angie’s list:

  1. Bigger isn’t always better
  2. Your unit should be correctly sized for your home
  3. How much do you want to spend?

"You should expect them to come out and give you an assessment of your furnace on-site,” Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks said. “Also, they'll check your ductwork as well to make sure it's adequate."

Ask prospective contractors what specific manufacturers or equipment brands they carry and check training certifications.

If your air conditioner is showing its age, it might be a good idea to replace both at the same time. Installation crews charge per-visit.

And don’t forget -- consumer energy efficiency tax credits run out at the end of this year.

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