There is so much to contemplate when it comes to thinking about your home.
- Should I get an alarm system?
- What types of light bulbs meet my lighting needs but are still energy efficient?
- Should I install carpet or laminate wood?
And if that’s not enough, go ahead and put one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heating unit?
Your heating system 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 heating system that is wasting energy and money with every utility bill.
But how should I know if it’s time to replace my heater?
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 system.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is normal for a heating unit to eventually need a new blower or a little attention once a year to make sure everything is running smoothly, but a well-maintained heating unit should work without much mending 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 numerous visits during the same heating season;
- constantly writing checks just to keep your house comfortably warm.
A general rule to remember: if annual repair costs reach half of the present value of the heater, it’s most likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your utility bills are a little more than this time last year? That may be a sign that some part of your heater 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 giving up. Older heating units can be very inefficient, while newer products 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 units were never designed to last forever. Advanced, more efficient technology is 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 heating systems 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 wallet.
4. Excessive Noise
If you have to raise your voice to talk because your unit is so 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, rattling, clinking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical problem. It could be as easy as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of your unit has loosened or come completely disconnected.
Today’s latest products 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 better equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly bump up the furnace 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 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 furnace, 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 complaints when the humidity is too low are dry air, sinusitis, and chapped skin. Improper humidity can even negatively impact wooden 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 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 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 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 Stallion Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.