There are many things to contemplate when it comes to running your home.
- Should I get an alarm system?
- What types of fixtures meet my lighting needs but are 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 heating unit 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 should I know if it’s time to replace my heating system?
The following warning signs can help you determine if you just need a quick service or if it’s time to replace your current heater.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is not uncommon for a heating unit to eventually need a part replacement 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 several 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 percent of the present value of the heating system, it’s most 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 HVAC system is weakening. Most companies can provide 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 determining if your heating unit is giving up. Older heating units can be very inefficient, while newer products 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 the new system.
3. Old Age
Heating units were never designed to last as long as your home. Advanced, more efficient technology is coming out all the time. But how long should your 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 worse! 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 checkbook.
4. Excessive Noise
If you are having to raise your voice to talk because your unit 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, rattling, clinking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical problem. It could be as simple as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of your unit has loosened or come completely separated.
Today’s latest units function more silently than ever. Often you’ll have to really give attention to even know when 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 hike up the heater to keep things in the house cozy, that should be a major warning 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 system, 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 turning up the heat. Common grumbles when the humidity is too low are dry air, sore throats, and chapped skin. Incorrect humidity can even negatively impact hardwood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating units 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
A number of issues that don’t directly relate to temperature can be improved significantly with an expertly designed and properly installed HVAC system. If you are experiencing issues with household odors, airborne allergens, such as pollen or pet dander, mold, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting an expert heating system contractor can start you on the road toward 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 overhaul of the entire system, call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.