When Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?

There is a lot to consider when it comes to running your home. 

  • Should I get an alarm 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, go ahead and put one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heating system? 

Your heating unit shouldn’t require undivided 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 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 common for a heating system 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 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 problem; 
  • Needing multiple visits during the same heating season; 
  • Constantly writing checks 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, it’s most likely time to replace your furnace. 

2. Energy Efficiency 

Are your heating are a little more expensive than they were last year? That may be a sign that some part of your heater 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 determining if your heating unit is giving up. Older heating units can be very inefficient, while newer technologies are much more efficient at heating your home. Also, upgrading to a high-efficiency unit could mean tax credits or utility rebates and incentives to help you recoup the cost of a new system. 

3. Old Age 

Heating systems were never designed to last until the end of time. Better, more efficient systems are coming out all the time. But how long should your unit 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 percent 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 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, shaking, clinking, 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 detached. 

Today’s latest units work more soundlessly than ever. Often you’ll have to really play close attention to even know if they’re running. If noise pollution is important 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 comfy, that should be a major red flag 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 heating system, 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 temperature. Common complaints when the humidity is too low are dry air, sinusitis, and chapped skin. Low humidity can even negatively impact wooden floors and furniture. Today’s best heating equipment helps to keep this crucial balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the heating 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, 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 homework and decide you do need a new heater, or you want to upgrade your furnace to high-efficiency technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total renovation of the entire system, call Stallion Heating and Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.