When Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?
There is so much to contemplate when it comes to running your home.
- Should I get a home alarm system?
- What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are going to be energy efficient?
- Should I install carpeting or laminate wood?
As if that’s not enough, add one more thing to the list: When should I replace my heater?
Your heater shouldn’t require continuous 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 utility bill.
But how should I know if it’s time to replace my heater?
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 common for a heater to eventually need a part replacement or a little TLC once a year to make sure everything is running smoothly, but a well-maintained heating unit should work without much mending along the way. A few signs that your system may be in need of replacing are below:
- calling the service technician repeatedly 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 yearly repair costs reach half of the present value of the heating system, then it’s likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your utility bills 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 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 in need of replacing. Older heating systems can be very inefficient, while newer technologies are much more efficient at heating your home. Also, upgrading to a high-efficiency system 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. Better, more efficient systems are coming out all the time. But how long should your heating unit last? The magic number for a furnace or boiler is 15 years. But keep in mind many old heating systems 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 percent more efficient, and that’s a difference you’ll notice in your home and your checkbook.
4. Excessive Noise
If you have to raise your voice to talk because your heater is so 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, shaking, 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 disconnected.
Today’s latest units function more silently than ever. Often you’ll have to really give attention to even know that 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 jack up the heating system to keep things in the house comfortable, that should be a major sign that it’s time to re-evaluate your furnace. There are several items 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 heating unit, 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 bumping up the thermostat. Common issues when the humidity is too low are dry air, congestion, and chapped skin. Improper humidity can even negatively impact wood 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 HVAC unit. If you are experiencing issues with household odors, airborne allergens, such as pollen or pet dander, bacteria, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting a professional 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 heater, or you want to upgrade your furnace to more efficient technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total rebuild of the entire system, call Wesley Wood Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.