There is a lot to worry about when it comes to running your home.
- Should I get a home alarm system?
- What types of fixtures meet my lighting needs but are energy efficient?
- Should I install carpet or hardwood?
As if that’s not enough, include one more thing on 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 energy bill.
But how can 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 heating unit.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is normal for a heater to eventually need a new blower or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running correctly, 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 concern;
- needing several visits during the same heating season;
- constantly accruing bills simply 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 expensive than this time last year? That may be a sign that some part of your heater 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 systems 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. Better, more efficient systems 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 percent or poorer! 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 wallet.
4. Excessive Noise
If you are having 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, shaking, clanking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical issue. 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 systems function 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 heating system to keep things in the house comfortable, that should be a major warning that it’s time to re-evaluate your furnace. There are several factors 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 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. Improper humidity can even negatively impact hardwood 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
Many 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 or pet dander, bacteria, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting an experienced 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 high-efficiency technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total rebuild of the entire system, call Finch Air Conditioning & Heating Inc today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.