When Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?
There are many things 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 still energy efficient?
- Should I install carpets or laminate wood?
And if that’s not enough, include one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heating system?
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 energy bill.
But how do 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 unit.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is not uncommon for a heating system to eventually need a new blower 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 multiple times for the same issue;
- Needing numerous visits during the same heating season;
- Constantly spending money simply to keep your house comfortably warm.
A general rule to remember: if annual repair costs reach half of the present value of the heating unit, it’s likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your energy are a little more expensive than they were last year? That may be a sign that some part of your heater 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 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 system could mean tax credits or utility rebates and incentives to help you recoup the cost of the new system.
3. Old Age
Heating equipment were never designed to last until the end of time. Better, 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 furnaces 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 percent 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 heater 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, shaking, bumping, 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 detached.
Today’s latest systems operate more soundlessly than ever. Often you’ll have to really play close attention to even know if they’re running. If noise pollution is an issue for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to better equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly turn up the heater to keep things in the house comfortable, 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 heating system, 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, sinusitis, 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 HVAC 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 a professional 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 heater, or you want to upgrade your furnace to high-efficiency technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total renovation of the entire system, call Stallion Heating and Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.
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