There are many things to worry about when it comes to running your home.
- Should I get an alarm system?
- What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are still energy efficient?
- Should I install carpeting or tile?
And if that’s not enough, include one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heating unit?
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 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 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 common for a heating unit to eventually need a part replacement or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running correctly, but a well-maintained heating unit should work without much fixing along the way. A few indicators that your system may be in need of replacing are below:
- calling the service technician repeatedly for the same concern;
- needing numerous visits during the same heating season;
- constantly accruing bills simply to keep your house comfortably warm.
A general rule to remember: if yearly repair costs reach half of the present value of the heater, then it’s likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your utility bills are a little more than this time last year? That may be a sign that some part of your heater 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 discovering if your heating unit is in need of replacing. Older heating systems 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 the new system.
3. Old Age
Heating units were never designed to last forever. Better, more efficient systems are 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% 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 checkbook.
4. Excessive Noise
If you need to raise your voice to talk because your heater is so 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, jolting, clanking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical issue. 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 products function more quietly than ever. Often you’ll have to really pay attention to even know that they’re running. If noise pollution is a concern for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to better equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly bump up the heater to keep things in the house comfy, 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 fixed with a new thermostat that allows you more control – so before you assume that you’re in for a whole new heating unit, 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, sinusitis, and chapped skin. Incorrect humidity can even negatively impact wood 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 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 heating 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 to resolving them.
So you do all your investigating and decide you do need a new furnace, or you want to upgrade your furnace to high-efficiency technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total rebuild of the entire system, call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.