There is a lot to contemplate when it comes to taking care of your home.
- Should I get a home alarm system?
- What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are still energy efficient?
- Should I install carpeting or laminate wood?
Of course if that’s not enough, add one more thing to the list: When should I replace my heater?
Your heater 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 unit that is wasting energy and money with every utility bill.
But how can I know if it’s time to replace my heater?
The following warning signs can help you determine if you just need a quick tune-up or if it’s time to replace your current heater.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is common for a heating unit to eventually need a new belt or a little attention once a year to make sure everything is running correctly, but a well-maintained heating system should work without much mending along the way. A few indications 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 simply to keep your house comfortably warm.
A general rule to remember: if yearly repair costs reach 50 percent of the present value of the heating system, it’s likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your energy are a little higher than they were last year? That may be a sign that some part of your heating system is weakening. Most companies can give you a residential energy audit which can show you 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 giving up. Older heating units can be very inefficient, while newer technologies are much more efficient at heating your home. Also, upgrading to a high-efficiency unit could mean tax credits or utility rebates and incentives to help you recoup the cost of your new system.
3. Old Age
Heating units were never designed to last until the end of time. Advanced, more efficient technology is 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 worse! A replacement that’s been qualified with the Energy Star rating can be up to 30% more efficient, and that’s a difference you’ll notice in your home and your bank account.
4. Excessive Noise
If you are having to raise your voice to talk because your system 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, jolting, bumping, or banging could be signs of a mechanical problem. It could be as straightforward as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of your unit has loosened or come completely disconnected.
Today’s latest units operate more quietly than ever. Often you’ll have to really play close attention to even know if they’re running. If noise pollution is important for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to better equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly turn up the heating system to keep things in the house cozy, that should be a major sign that it’s time to re-evaluate your furnace. There are several factors that could cause this issue - it may be rectified with a new thermostat that allows you more control – so before you assume that you’re in for a whole new heating unit, give some consideration 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 thermostat. Common grumbles when the humidity is too low are dry air, sore throats, and chapped skin. Low humidity can even negatively impact wood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating systems help to keep this crucial balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the heating system.
7. Air Quality Issues
A number of 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, germs, 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 investigating and decide you do need a new heating system, or you want to upgrade your furnace to high-efficiency technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total overhaul of the entire system, call A-PLUS Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.