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 laminate wood?
Of course if that’s not enough, go ahead and put one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heating unit?
Your heating system shouldn’t require undivided 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 do I know if it’s time to replace my heater?
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 heater.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is not uncommon for a heater to eventually need a new belt or a little attention once a year to make sure everything is running correctly, but a well-maintained heating unit should work without much repairing 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 concern;
- needing multiple visits during the same heating season;
- constantly accruing bills simply 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 likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your heating are a little more expensive than they were last year? That may be a sign that some part of your HVAC 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 determining if your heating unit is in need of replacing. 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 the new system.
3. Old Age
Heating equipment were never designed to last forever. 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 furnaces operate at an efficiency of just 65% 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 wallet.
4. Excessive Noise
If you are having 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, jolting, bumping, 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 detached.
Today’s latest products operate more quietly than ever. Often you’ll have to really play close attention to even know when 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 jack up the furnace to keep things in the house comfy, 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 furnace, 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 hiking up the temperature. Common grumbles when the humidity is too low are dry air, sore throats, and chapped skin. Low humidity can even negatively impact hardwood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating equipment helps to keep this precious balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the heating system.
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 system. If you are experiencing issues with household odors, airborne allergens, such as pollen and pet dander, germs, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting a professional heating system contractor can start you on the road to resolving them.
So you do all your investigating and decide you do need a new furnace, or you want to upgrade your furnace to green technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total overhaul of the entire system, call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.