When Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?

December 28, 2015

There is so much to contemplate when it comes to thinking about your home.

  • Should I get a home alarm system?

  • What types of light bulbs meet my lighting needs but are going to be energy efficient?

  • Should I install carpets or tile?

And if that’s not enough, go ahead and put one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heater?

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 energy 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 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 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 issue;
  • needing numerous visits during the same heating season;
  • constantly accruing bills just to keep your house comfortably warm.

A general rule to remember: if yearly repair costs reach 50% of the present value of the heater, it’s most likely time to replace your furnace.

2. Energy Efficiency

Are your energy are a little higher than this time last year? That may be a sign that some part of your HVAC 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 determining if your heating unit is giving up. Older heating systems can be very inefficient, while newer technologies 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 a new system.

3. Old Age

Heating systems 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 system 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 worse! 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 bank account.

4. Excessive Noise

If you need to raise your voice to talk because your heating unit is too 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, 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 detached.

Today’s latest systems operate more quietly than ever. Often you’ll have to really play close attention to even know that they’re running. If noise pollution is a concern for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to more modern equipment.

5. Temperature and Comfort Issues

If you are having to constantly hike 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 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 turning up the temperature. Common grumbles when the humidity is too low are dry air, congestion, and chapped skin. Improper 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 heating 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 HVAC unit. If you are experiencing issues with household odors, airborne allergens, such as pollen and pet dander, bacteria, 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 research and decide you do need a new heating system, or you want to upgrade your furnace to green technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total renovation of the entire system, call Strogen's Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.