There is a lot to consider when it comes to thinking about your home.
- Should I get a home alarm system?
- What types of fixtures meet my lighting needs but are going to be energy efficient?
- Should I install carpet or hardwood?
Of course if that’s not enough, add one more thing to the list: When should I replace my heating unit?
Your heating unit shouldn’t require constant 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 energy bill.
But how do 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 heating system.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is normal for a heating unit to eventually need a new blower or a little TLC once a year to make sure everything is running properly, but a well-maintained heating unit 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 frequently for the same concern;
- needing numerous visits during the same heating season;
- constantly accruing bills 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 heating system, it’s likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your heating are a little higher than they were last year? That may be a sign that some part of your heating 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 system 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 as long as your home. Advanced, more efficient technology is coming out all the time. But how long should your unit 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 percent or poorer! 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 need to raise your voice to talk because your system 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, rattling, bumping, or banging could be signs of a mechanical matter. It could be as easy 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 pay attention to even know when 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 hike up the heating system 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 things that could cause this issue - it may be fixed with a new thermostat that allows you more control – so before you assume that you’re in for a whole new heater, 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 complaints when the humidity is too low are dry air, sinusitis, and chapped skin. Low humidity can even negatively impact hardwood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating equipment helps 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
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 or pet dander, germs, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting an experienced 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 heater, or you want to upgrade your furnace to high-efficiency 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.