When Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?
There are many things to worry about when it comes to thinking about your home.
- Should I get an alarm system?
- What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are still energy efficient?
- Should I install carpets or hardwood?
Of course if that’s not enough, include one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heater?
Your heating system 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 utility bill.
But how should 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 tune-up or if it’s time to replace your current heating system.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is normal for a heating unit to eventually need a new belt or a little TLC 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 signs that your system may be in need of replacing are below:
- calling the service technician repeatedly for the same issue;
- needing multiple 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 50 percent of the present value of the heater, it’s likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your utility bills are a little more than you remember them being? 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 show you 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 going out. Older heating units can be very inefficient, while newer products 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 systems were never designed to last until the end of time. Newer, 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 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 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 issue. It could be as straightforward as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of your unit has loosened or come completely detached.
Today’s latest products operate more quietly than ever. Often you’ll have to really pay attention to even know when 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 turn up the furnace to keep things in the house cozy, 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 fixed with a new thermostat that allows you more control – so before you assume that you’re in for a whole new furnace, 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, congestion, and chapped skin. Incorrect humidity can even negatively impact hardwood 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 or pet dander, mold, 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 homework 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 Atmostemp Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.