Modern gas fireplaces are rather complex and can develop various issues over time. You might sometimes wonder whether it’s better to repair a fireplace or just replace it entirely. This is indeed a tough decision, for replacing your fireplace can be quite costly. Well, honestly, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to this. Whether you should replace or repair your fireplace depends on its condition, along with several other factors.
You might want to check this article if you are unsure how to get a fireplace repair or replacement done. Reputed HVAC companies like Hurliman that offer repair and replacement services can cater to your needs regardless of your choice. Moreover, you may consult them if you need help deciding whether to repair or replace your fireplace.
Factors that you need to consider
You’ll have to decide whether to repair or replace the fireplace depending on various factors. However, here’s a general guide on when to repair your fireplace and when to replace it:
1. Cost of repairs
The most important factor is how much it would cost you to repair the fireplace. If it only needs a minor repair, there’s no need to spend on a whole new fireplace. It isn’t unusual for fireplaces to develop minor issues that hinder their performance. A good HVAC company can fix your faulty fireplace and get it up and running quickly.
However, although repairing a fireplace usually seems cheaper, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes seemingly simple issues have several underlying problems that cause the repair costs to stack up. You might find that repairing the fireplace costs almost as much as replacing it, or possibly even more. In such cases, replacing is undoubtedly the more cost-effective choice.
2. Age of the fireplace
If you installed the fireplace only a few years back, repairing it will usually suffice and keep it going for much longer. On the other hand, it’s better to replace a fireplace that’s nearing the end of its lifespan anyway. Gas fireplaces usually last around 10 to 20 years. As a fireplace grows old, it starts developing issues frequently and becomes expensive to maintain.
3. Aesthetic appeal
Your fireplace is a part of your room's interior décor and affects the aesthetic appeal and ambiance. You might want a new fireplace if the current one is too old and worn out. Moreover, your old fireplace might not fit in well in case you happen to renovate your home and give the interiors a new look.
You may keep your existing fireplace if it still looks aesthetically pleasing and repairing it is a viable option. However, once a fireplace becomes more of a sore sight, it’s better to simply replace it altogether. This is especially important if you’re planning to sell your home, as the resale value depends largely on the home’s aesthetic appeal.
As fireplaces continue to grow more sophisticated, manufacturers are constantly developing new features. Modern fireplaces are more energy-efficient, convenient, and perform better. In case you feel that your current fireplace is too outdated, you may replace it with a more sophisticated fireplace instead.
5. Frequent issues
While it’s normal for fireplaces to develop various problems, you should be worried if you have to repair your fireplace too often. When too many complex problems start plaguing a fireplace, fixing one issue only opens up another. Eventually, you’d end up spending much more on repairs than what it’d cost you to purchase a brand-new fireplace. If you have to call a fireplace technician too often, consider replacing the fireplace entirely.
6. Expected use in future
Replacing a fireplace isn’t worth the cost if you plan to move elsewhere soon unless you’re doing it for a better property value. If that’s the case, just repair the fireplace and keep it going for the time you plan to stay. However, if you don’t plan on moving out anytime soon, replacing a fireplace might be more cost-effective in the long run.
Signs that you need a fireplace technician
Whenever your fireplace develops a problem, the best course of action is to call a professional fireplace technician and get it inspected. As fireplaces are complex systems, failing to fix an issue quickly or messing up a DIY repair can lead to expensive repairs. With that said, here are a few common signs of a faulty fireplace:
1. Inefficient heating
If you notice that your fireplace no longer heats the room as effectively as it used to, it’s time for a fireplace inspection. Depending on the cause behind the reduced heating efficiency, you may have to repair or replace the unit.
2. Unusual smells
As long as your gas fireplace is working properly, there shouldn’t be any smell. However, burning smells from the fireplace indicate a potential issue. Usually, it’s due to dust and debris inside the system, which you’ll have to clean out. If you smell an odor similar to rotten eggs or sulfur, it’s because the system has either developed a gas leak. This is a major safety hazard, and you should contact an HVAC company that offers emergency services.
A fireplace in proper condition expels all the smoke through the chimney. If using the fireplace causes your home to get smokey, it’s time to contact a professional. Excess smoke from the fireplace can lead to breathing difficulties or even pose a safety hazard.
Fireplaces are an important element of chic modern homes. However, as aesthetic as they might be, one cannot ignore the danger associated with them. A problem in your fireplace can potentially lead to a fire hazard, which is why it’s always best to contact a reputed fireplace service company. Once the technicians have inspected the issue, they can advise you on whether you’ll be better off repairing or replacing the fireplace. Feel free to contact the best HVAC service company near you if you need any assistance.