When Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?
There is so much to consider when it comes to taking care of your home.
- Should I get a security system?
- What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are going to be energy efficient?
- Should I install carpets or tile?
Of course if that’s not enough, include one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heating unit?
Your heater shouldn’t require constant 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 heater that is wasting energy and money with every energy bill.
But how can 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 system.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is normal for a heating unit to eventually need a new belt 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 indications that your system may be in need of replacing are below:
- Calling the service technician frequently for the same problem;
- Needing multiple visits during the same heating season;
- Constantly accruing bills simply 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 most likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your energy are a little more than they were last year? That may be a sign that some part of your heater 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 deciding 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 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 as long as your home. Better, more efficient technology is coming out all the time. But how long should your unit last? The magic number for a furnace or boiler is 15 years. But keep in mind many old heating units operate at an efficiency of just 65 percent or poorer! 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 bank account.
4. Excessive Noise
If you have to raise your voice to talk because your heating system is abnormally 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, shaking, clinking, 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 detached.
Today’s latest products operate more soundlessly than ever. Often you’ll have to really pay attention to even know if they’re running. If noise pollution is an issue 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 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 rectified 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 complaints when the humidity is too low are dry air, sinusitis, and chapped skin. Improper humidity can even negatively impact hardwood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating equipment helps to keep this crucial balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the heating 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 investigating and decide you do need a new furnace, 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 & Plumbing today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.
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