When Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?
There are many things to consider when it comes to taking care of your home.
- Should I get an alarm system?
- What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are still energy efficient?
- Should I install carpeting or laminate wood?
And if that’s not enough, go ahead and put one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heating system?
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 heating bill.
But how do I know if it’s time to replace my heating unit?
The following warning signs can help you determine if you just need a quick service or if it’s time to replace your current heating unit.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is normal for a heating unit to eventually need a part replacement or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running correctly, but a well-maintained heater 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 repeatedly for the same problem;
- Needing numerous visits during the same heating season;
- Constantly spending money just to keep your house comfortably warm.
A general rule to remember: if annual repair costs reach 50% of the present value of the heating system, it’s likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your utility bills are a little more expensive than they were last year? 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 to 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 products 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 equipment were never designed to last forever. Better, 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% 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 wallet.
4. Excessive Noise
If you are having to raise your voice to talk because your heating unit is too loud, that could be a sign that your duct system is undersized and too much air is being pushed through too small an opening.
Other noises like squealing, rattling, bumping, or banging could be signs of a mechanical matter. It could be as straightforward as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of your unit has loosened or come completely separated.
Today’s latest systems operate more silently than ever. Often you’ll have to really pay attention to even know that they’re running. If noise pollution is important for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to more modern equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly jack up the heater to keep things in the house cozy, that should be a major warning that it’s time to re-evaluate your furnace. There are several items 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 heater, give some thought 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 turning up the heat. Common grumbles when the humidity is too low are dry air, congestion, and chapped skin. Incorrect humidity can even negatively impact wooden floors and furniture. Today’s best heating systems help to keep this important balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the heating system.
7. Air Quality Issues
Many issues that don’t directly relate to temperature can be improved significantly with an expertly designed and properly installed heating system. 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 toward resolving them.
So you do all your investigating and decide you do need a new heater, or you want to upgrade your furnace to green technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total rebuild of the entire system, call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.
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