When Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?

December 28, 2015

There is so much to consider when it comes to taking care of your home.

  • Should I get a security system?

  • What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are still energy efficient?

  • Should I install carpet or tile?

Of course if that’s not enough, add one more thing to the list: When should I replace my heating unit?

Your heating unit 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 can I know if it’s time to replace my heating unit?

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 not uncommon for a heater to eventually need a part replacement or a little TLC once a year to make sure everything is running correctly, but a well-maintained heating unit should work without much mending along the way. A few signs that your system may be in need of replacing are below:

  • calling the service technician frequently for the same problem;
  • needing multiple 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 percent of the present value of the heating system, it’s most likely time to replace your furnace.

2. Energy Efficiency

Are your heating are a little higher than they were last year? That may be a sign that some part of your heating system is weakening. Most companies can give you 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 determining if your heating unit is giving up. Older heating systems can be very inefficient, while newer systems 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 a new system.

3. Old Age

Heating equipment 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 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 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 too 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 matter. 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 units function more silently 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 more modern equipment.

5. Temperature and Comfort Issues

If you are having to constantly bump up the heater to keep things in the house comfy, that should be a major sign that it’s time to re-evaluate your furnace. There are several factors 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 heater, give some thought 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 thermostat. Common grumbles when the humidity is too low are dry air, sore throats, and chapped skin. Incorrect 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 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 system. If you are experiencing issues with household odors, airborne allergens, such as pollen and pet dander, germs, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting an expert heating system contractor can start you on the road toward resolving them.

So you do all your research and decide you do need a new furnace, or you want to upgrade your furnace to high-efficiency technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total rebuild of the entire system, call Parker Pearce Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.