There are many things to worry about when it comes to thinking about your home.
- Should I get an alarm system?
- What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are still energy efficient?
- Should I install carpeting or tile?
As if that’s not enough, go ahead and put one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heater?
Your heating system 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 system that is wasting energy and money with every utility bill.
But how can 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 normal for a heating unit to eventually need a part replacement or a little TLC once a year to make sure everything is running smoothly, but a well-maintained heating unit should work without much repairing 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 just to keep your house comfortably warm.
A general rule to remember: if yearly repair costs reach 50 percent of the present value of the heater, it’s likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your energy are a little more expensive than they were last year? That may be a sign that some part of your HVAC system is weakening. Most companies can provide a residential energy audit which can show you 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 units can be very inefficient, while newer technologies 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 forever. Better, more efficient technology is 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% or less! 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 wallet.
4. Excessive Noise
If you need to raise your voice to talk because your unit is abnormally 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, rattling, clinking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical issue. It could be as easy as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of your unit has loosened or come completely detached.
Today’s latest systems function more silently than ever. Often you’ll have to really play close attention to even know if 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 hike up the heating system 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 rectified with a new thermostat that allows you more control – so before you assume that you’re in for a whole new furnace, 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 hiking up the temperature. Common issues when the humidity is too low are dry air, sinusitis, 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
Several issues that don’t directly relate to temperature can be improved significantly with an expertly designed and properly installed HVAC unit. 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 homework 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 renovation of the entire system, call Bryant Heating & Cooling Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.