There is so much to contemplate when it comes to thinking about your home.
- Should I get an alarm system?
- What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are energy efficient?
- Should I install carpets or tile?
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 heater that is wasting energy and money with every utility bill.
But how should 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 maintenance visit or if it’s time to replace your current heater.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is common for a heating system to eventually need a new blower or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running smoothly, but a well-maintained heating system should work without much fixing 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 problem;
- 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 50% of the present value of the heating system, it’s likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your energy are a little more expensive than you remember them being? That may be a sign that some part of your heater is weakening. Most companies can give you a residential energy audit which can point to 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 in need of replacing. 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 a new system.
3. Old Age
Heating systems were never designed to last forever. Advanced, more efficient units are coming out all the time. But how long should your 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 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 heating unit is so 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, shaking, clinking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical matter. 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 systems function more soundlessly 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 better equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly turn up the heater to keep things in the house cozy, that should be a major warning that it’s time to re-evaluate your furnace. There are several things that could cause this issue - it may be resolved with a new thermostat that allows you more control – so before you assume that you’re in for a whole new heater, give some attention 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, congestion, 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 system.
7. Air Quality Issues
Many issues that don’t directly relate to temperature can be improved significantly with an expertly designed and properly installed HVAC 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 investigating and decide you do need a new heating unit, 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 D.A. Bennett Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.