There is so much to worry about when it comes to taking care of your home.
- Should I get an alarm system?
- What types of light bulbs meet my lighting needs but are going to be energy efficient?
- Should I install carpeting or tile?
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 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 system that is wasting energy and money with every heating 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 maintenance visit or if it’s time to replace your current heating system.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is not uncommon for a heater to eventually need a new belt or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running smoothly, but a well-maintained heating unit should work without much fixing along the way. A few indicators that your system may be in need of replacing are below:
- calling the service technician frequently for the same concern;
- needing numerous 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 unit, then it’s likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your energy are a little more than they were 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 out 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 in need of replacing. Older heating systems can be very inefficient, while newer products 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 units are coming out all the time. But how long should your heating 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 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 bank account.
4. Excessive Noise
If you need to raise your voice to talk because your heating system is so 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, clinking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical problem. 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 products function more quietly than ever. Often you’ll have to really pay attention to even know if 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 turn up the furnace to keep things in the house comfortable, 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 fixed 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 grumbles when the humidity is too low are dry air, congestion, and chapped skin. Low humidity can even negatively impact hardwood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating systems 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
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 a professional 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 furnace, or you want to upgrade your furnace to more efficient technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total rebuild of the entire system, call Strand Brothers Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.