When Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?
There are many things to worry about when it comes to taking care of your home.
- Should I get a security system?
- What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are going to be energy efficient?
- Should I install carpets or hardwood?
Of course if that’s not enough, add one more thing to the list: When should I replace my heating unit?
Your heater shouldn’t require continuous 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 unit that is wasting energy and money with every heating bill.
But how can I know if it’s time to replace my heater?
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 unit.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is normal for a heating system to eventually need a part replacement or a little attention once a year to make sure everything is running properly, but a well-maintained heating unit should work without much mending along the way. A few indications 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 spending money just to keep your house comfortably warm.
A general rule to remember: if annual repair costs reach half 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 more than this time last year? That may be a sign that some part of your heating system is weakening. Most companies can deliver 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 units can be very inefficient, while newer systems are much more efficient at heating your home. Also, upgrading to a high-efficiency unit 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 as long as your home. Newer, more efficient units are 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 systems operate at an efficiency of just 65 percent 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 heating system is too 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, bumping, 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 disconnected.
Today’s latest units work more quietly than ever. Often you’ll have to really pay attention to even know that they’re running. If noise pollution is an issue 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 cozy, that should be a major red flag that it’s time to re-evaluate your furnace. There are several factors that could cause this issue – it may be rectified 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 turning up the heat. Common complaints when the humidity is too low are dry air, congestion, and chapped skin. Incorrect humidity can even negatively impact hardwood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating units help to keep this precious balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the HVAC unit.
7. Air Quality Issues
Many issues that don’t directly relate to temperature can be improved significantly with an expertly designed and properly installed heating unit. 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 resolving them.
So you do all your research and decide you do need a new heating system, 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.
Zoning Systems: Control the Temperature in Every Room
Central heating and air systems have radically changed home comfort and made it possible to stay completely cozy in any season or climate. But while centralized systems are a handy way to regulate the temperature, they at times fall short when it comes to evenly distributing heated or cooled air... Continue reading
Eight Popular Heating Fallacies Debunked
There are many myths out there about home heating that create confusion and inefficient furnace use. It’s time to clear up these common misconceptions. Here, the heating professionals at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing get to the bottom of the eight most common myths to... Continue reading
Eight Upgrades to Boost Your Home HVAC System
During the coldest time of the year in the U.S., there’s no better way to improve your home’s comfort than with some effective upgrades. It’s not just about keeping the house toasty warm as the snow begins to fall—it’s about boosting efficiency and improving the very air you breathe.... Continue reading