There are many things to contemplate 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 carpet or hardwood?
Of course if that’s not enough, add one more thing to the list: When should I replace my heating unit?
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 energy 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 maintenance visit or if it’s time to replace your current heater.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is not uncommon for a heating unit to eventually need a new belt or a little TLC once a year to make sure everything is running properly, but a well-maintained heating system 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 frequently for the same issue;
- needing several 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 half of the present value of the heating system, then it’s likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your heating are a little more expensive than you remember them being? That may be a sign that some part of your heating system is weakening. Most companies can deliver 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 discovering 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 product could mean tax credits or utility rebates and incentives to help you recoup the cost of your new system.
3. Old Age
Heating equipment were never designed to last until the end of time. 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 heating systems 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 checkbook.
4. Excessive Noise
If you are having to raise your voice to talk because your heating unit is abnormally 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, 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 separated.
Today’s latest systems function more quietly than ever. Often you’ll have to really pay attention to even know when they’re running. If noise pollution is a concern for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to newer equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly jack up the heater to keep things in the house cozy, 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 resolved with a new thermostat that allows you more control – so before you assume that you’re in for a whole new heating unit, 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 bumping up the heat. Common complaints when the humidity is too low are dry air, congestion, and chapped skin. Improper humidity can even negatively impact hardwood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating systems help to keep this important 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 HVAC system. If you are experiencing issues with household odors, airborne allergens, such as pollen and pet dander, bacteria, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting an expert 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 heating system, or you want to upgrade your furnace to more efficient 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.