There is a lot 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 energy efficient?
- Should I install carpeting or tile?
And if that’s not enough, add one more thing to the list: When should I replace my heating unit?
Your heating system 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 heating unit that is wasting energy and money with every energy bill.
But how do 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 tune-up or if it’s time to replace your current heating unit.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is common for a heater to eventually need a part replacement or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running smoothly, but a well-maintained heating system 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 multiple times for the same concern;
- needing multiple visits during the same heating season;
- constantly spending money simply to keep your house comfortably warm.
A general rule to remember: if annual repair costs reach 50% of the present value of the heating system, 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 to 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 your new system.
3. Old Age
Heating systems were never designed to last until the end of time. Better, 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 furnaces operate at an efficiency of just 65% or poorer! 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 bank account.
4. Excessive Noise
If you are having to raise your voice to talk because your system 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, jolting, bumping, or banging could be signs of a mechanical issue. 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 soundlessly than ever. Often you’ll have to really play close attention to even know when they’re running. If noise pollution is important for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to better equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly jack 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 rectified 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 turning up the heat. Common issues when the humidity is too low are dry air, sore throats, and chapped skin. Incorrect humidity can even negatively impact wood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating units help to keep this important balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the heating system.
7. Air Quality Issues
Several 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 an experienced heating system contractor can start you on the road to resolving them.
So you do all your homework 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 renovation of the entire system, call Comfortech Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.