There is so much to consider when it comes to running your home.
- Should I get a security system?
- What types of light bulbs meet my lighting needs but are energy efficient?
- Should I install carpeting or laminate wood?
Of course if that’s not enough, include one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heating unit?
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 heating bill.
But how should I know if it’s time to replace my heating system?
The following warning signs can help you determine if you just need a quick service or if it’s time to replace your current heater.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is normal for a heating unit to eventually need a part replacement or a little attention once a year to make sure everything is running smoothly, but a well-maintained heating unit 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 problem;
- 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 heating system, it’s likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your utility bills are a little higher than this time last year? That may be a sign that some part of your heater is weakening. Most companies can deliver 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 deciding if your heating unit is going out. Older heating units can be very inefficient, while newer technologies 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 equipment were never designed to last as long as your home. Advanced, more efficient technology is 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 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% 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 abnormally 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, rattling, clinking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical issue. 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 products operate 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 better equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly turn 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 items that could cause this issue - it may be fixed 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 hiking up the temperature. Common issues when the humidity is too low are dry air, congestion, and chapped skin. Incorrect humidity can even negatively impact wooden floors and furniture. Today’s best heating units help to keep this crucial balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the HVAC unit.
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 unit. If you are experiencing issues with household odors, airborne allergens, such as pollen or pet dander, germs, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting a professional heating system contractor can start you on the road to fixing them.
So you do all your investigating and decide you do need a new furnace, or you want to upgrade your furnace to more efficient technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total renovation of the entire system, call Chief/Bauer Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.