There is a lot to consider when it comes to thinking about your home.
- Should I get a home alarm system?
- What types of light bulbs meet my lighting needs but are going to be energy efficient?
- Should I install carpeting or hardwood?
Of course if that’s not enough, go ahead and put one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heating system?
Your heater 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 heater that is wasting energy and money with every heating bill.
But how can 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 unit.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is common for a heating system to eventually need a new blower or a little attention once a year to make sure everything is running properly, but a well-maintained heating unit should work without much fixing along the way. A few indications that your system may be in need of replacing are below:
- calling the service technician frequently for the same issue;
- needing numerous visits during the same heating season;
- constantly writing checks 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 higher than this time last year? That may be a sign that some part of your heating system is weakening. Most companies can provide 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 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. Better, more efficient technology is 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 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 checkbook.
4. Excessive Noise
If you have to raise your voice to talk because your system is so loud, that could be a indicator 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 problem. 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 systems operate more soundlessly than ever. Often you’ll have to really pay attention to even know if they’re running. If noise pollution is an issue for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to more modern equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly hike up the furnace to keep things in the house comfy, 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 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 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 thermostat. Common issues when the humidity is too low are dry air, sinusitis, and chapped skin. Low humidity can even negatively impact hardwood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating equipment helps to keep this crucial balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the heating unit.
7. Air Quality Issues
A number of 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 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 investigating and decide you do need a new heater, 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.