There is so much to contemplate when it comes to running your home.
- Should I get a security system?
- What types of fixtures meet my lighting needs but are going to be energy efficient?
- Should I install carpet or laminate wood?
As if that’s not enough, go ahead and put one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heater?
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 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 tune-up or if it’s time to replace your current heating system.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is common for a heating system to eventually need a new blower or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running properly, but a well-maintained heating system should work without much repairing 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 issue;
- 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 most likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your heating are a little more expensive than they were last year? That may be a sign that some part of your HVAC 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 determining 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 product could mean tax credits or utility rebates and incentives to help you recoup the cost of a new system.
3. Old Age
Heating units were never designed to last until the end of time. Newer, more efficient units are coming out all the time. But how long should your heating system 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% or poorer! 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 have to raise your voice to talk because your unit is so loud, that could be a indication that your duct system is undersized and too much air is being pushed through too small an opening.
Other noises like squealing, rattling, 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 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 more modern equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly turn up the heating system to keep things in the house comfy, 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 furnace, 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. Improper 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 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 HVAC 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 a professional heating system contractor can start you on the road toward fixing them.
So you do all your homework and decide you do need a new furnace, or you want to upgrade your furnace to green 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.