When Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?

December 28, 2015

There is so much to worry about when it comes to running your home.

  • Should I get a security system?

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

  • Should I install carpets or hardwood?

As if that’s not enough, add one more thing to the list: When should I replace my heater?

Your heating unit shouldn’t require constant 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 heating bill.

But how should 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 system.

1. Frequent Repair Costs

It is common 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 heater should work without much mending along the way. A few indications 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 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 more than this time last year? That may be a sign that some part of your HVAC system is weakening. Most companies can provide 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 discovering if your heating unit is going out. Older heating units can be very inefficient, while newer systems are much more efficient at heating your home. Also, upgrading to a high-efficiency system could mean tax credits or utility rebates and incentives to help you recoup the cost of a new system.

3. Old Age

Heating units were never designed to last until the end of time. Advanced, more efficient technology is coming out all the time. But how long should your heating unit 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% 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 wallet.

4. Excessive Noise

If you have to raise your voice to talk because your system 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, bumping, or banging could be signs of a mechanical matter. It could be as straightforward as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of your unit has loosened or come completely disconnected.

Today’s latest products work more quietly than ever. Often you’ll have to really pay attention to even know when they’re running. If noise pollution is an issue for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to better equipment.

5. Temperature and Comfort Issues

If you are having to constantly bump 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 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 heat. Common issues 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 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 unit. 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 Bob Brown Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.