There are many things to worry about when it comes to running your home.
- Should I get a security system?
- What types of light bulbs meet my lighting needs but are still energy efficient?
- Should I install carpet or hardwood?
And if that’s not enough, go ahead and put one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heating unit?
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 heater that is wasting energy and money with every heating bill.
But how can I know if it’s time to replace my heater?
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 not uncommon for a heating system to eventually need a part replacement or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running smoothly, but a well-maintained heating system should work without much fixing 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 issue;
- needing several visits during the same heating season;
- constantly spending money 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 unit, then 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 HVAC system is weakening. Most companies can give you 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 deciding if your heating unit is in need of replacing. 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 equipment were never designed to last forever. Newer, more efficient technology is 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 furnaces operate at an efficiency of just 65 percent or less! 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 are having to raise your voice to talk because your heater 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, shaking, bumping, or banging could be signs of a mechanical problem. 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 work more silently than ever. Often you’ll have to really play close attention to even know that they’re running. If noise pollution is an issue for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to newer equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly hike up the heater to keep things in the house cozy, that should be a major sign 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 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 temperature. Common grumbles when the humidity is too low are dry air, congestion, and chapped skin. Low 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
A number of 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 an expert heating system contractor can start you on the road to fixing them.
So you do all your research 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 Fras-Air/General Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.