When Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?

December 28, 2015

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 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 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 heater that is wasting energy and money with every utility 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 tune-up or if it’s time to replace your current heater.

1. Frequent Repair Costs

It is not uncommon for a heater to eventually need a part replacement or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running properly, but a well-maintained heater 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 repeatedly for the same problem;
  • needing numerous visits during the same heating season;
  • constantly writing checks just to keep your house comfortably warm.

A general rule to remember: if annual repair costs reach 50 percent of the present value of the heater, 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 provide 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 systems 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 equipment were never designed to last forever. Newer, more efficient technology is 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 bank account.

4. Excessive Noise

If you have to raise your voice to talk because your system is too 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 straightforward as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of your unit has loosened or come completely disconnected.

Today’s latest systems operate more silently 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 newer 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 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 heater, 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, congestion, and chapped skin. Improper humidity can even negatively impact wooden floors and furniture. Today’s best heating units help to keep this precious balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the heating system.

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 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 expert heating system contractor can start you on the road to resolving them.

So you do all your research 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 renovation of the entire system, call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.