When Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?
There is so much to worry about when it comes to thinking about your home.
- Should I get an alarm system?
- What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are energy efficient?
- Should I install carpet or laminate wood?
And if that’s not enough, include one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heating system?
Your heating system shouldn’t require undivided attention, but it shouldn’t be taken for granted, either. Ignoring your system could result in indoor air that is loaded with dust or allergens (or worse!), or even an inefficient heating system that is wasting energy and money with every utility bill.
But how do I know if it’s time to replace my heating system?
The following warning signs can help you determine if you just need a quick maintenance visit or if it’s time to replace your current heater.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is normal for a heater to eventually need a new blower or a little TLC once a year to make sure everything is running properly, but a well-maintained heating system should work without much fixing along the way. A few signs that your system may be in need of replacing are below:
- calling the service technician multiple times for the same concern;
- needing multiple visits during the same heating season;
- constantly spending money just to keep your house comfortably warm.
A general rule to remember: if yearly repair costs reach 50% of the present value of the heating unit, then it’s likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your heating are a little more than you remember them being? That may be a sign that some part of your heating system is weakening. Most companies can provide a residential energy audit which can point out easily remedied inefficiencies like weather-stripping around your doors and windows or attic insulation. It may also be the first step in discovering if your heating unit is going out. Older heating systems can be very inefficient, while newer systems are much more efficient at heating your home. Also, upgrading to a high-efficiency product could mean tax credits or utility rebates and incentives to help you recoup the cost of your new system.
3. Old Age
Heating equipment were never designed to last forever. Advanced, more efficient units are coming out all the time. But how long should your system last? The magic number for a furnace or boiler is 15 years. But keep in mind many old furnaces operate at an efficiency of just 65 percent or less! A replacement that’s been qualified with the Energy Star rating can be up to 30 percent more efficient, and that’s a difference you’ll notice in your home and your wallet.
4. Excessive Noise
If you have to raise your voice to talk because your heater is abnormally loud, that could be a indicator that your duct system is undersized and too much air is being pushed through too small an opening.
Other noises like squealing, rattling, clanking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical matter. It could be as simple as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of your unit has loosened or come completely disconnected.
Today’s latest products work more silently than ever. Often you’ll have to really play close attention to even know if they’re running. If noise pollution is a concern for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to more modern equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly bump up the furnace to keep things in the house comfy, that should be a major warning that it’s time to re-evaluate your furnace. There are several things that could cause this issue - it may be resolved with a new thermostat that allows you more control – so before you assume that you’re in for a whole new furnace, give some attention to your thermostat.
6. Humidity Issues
In the winter, low humidity makes the air inside your home feel colder than it is, often tricking you into hiking up the heat. Common issues when the humidity is too low are dry air, congestion, and chapped skin. Low humidity can even negatively impact wooden floors and furniture. Today’s best heating units help to keep this precious balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the HVAC unit.
7. Air Quality Issues
Several issues that don’t directly relate to temperature can be improved significantly with an expertly designed and properly installed heating unit. If you are experiencing issues with household odors, airborne allergens, such as pollen and pet dander, bacteria, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting an experienced heating system contractor can start you on the road to resolving them.
So you do all your homework and decide you do need a new heater, or you want to upgrade your furnace to more efficient technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total overhaul of the entire system, call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.