There is a lot to contemplate when it comes to thinking about your home.
- Should I get a security system?
- What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are energy efficient?
- Should I install carpeting or laminate wood?
As if that’s not enough, go ahead and put one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heating unit?
Your heater 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 heater that is wasting energy and money with every heating 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 maintenance visit or if it’s time to replace your current heating system.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is not uncommon for a heating unit to eventually need a part replacement or a little attention once a year to make sure everything is running correctly, but a well-maintained heating unit should work without much mending 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 multiple visits during the same heating season;
- constantly writing checks just to keep your house comfortably warm.
A general rule to remember: if yearly repair costs reach half of the present value of the heating system, it’s most likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your energy are a little more than this time 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 point out 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 giving up. 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 your new system.
3. Old Age
Heating units 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 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% or less! 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 bank account.
4. Excessive Noise
If you have to raise your voice to talk because your system 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, jolting, clinking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical issue. 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 products function more quietly than ever. Often you’ll have to really give attention to even know if 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 heater to keep things in the house comfy, that should be a major red flag 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 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 temperature. Common grumbles when the humidity is too low are dry air, sore throats, and chapped skin. Improper humidity can even negatively impact wooden floors and furniture. Today’s best heating systems 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
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 and pet dander, mold, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting an expert heating system contractor can start you on the road toward fixing them.
So you do all your research and decide you do need a new heater, or you want to upgrade your furnace to green 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.