There are many things to contemplate when it comes to running your home.
- Should I get an alarm system?
- What types of fixtures meet my lighting needs but are going to be energy efficient?
- Should I install carpets or laminate wood?
As if that’s not enough, add one more thing to the list: When should I replace my heating system?
Your heater 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 heating bill.
But how do I know if it’s time to replace my heater?
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 heating unit.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is common for a heating system to eventually need a new belt or a little TLC once a year to make sure everything is running smoothly, but a well-maintained heater 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 repeatedly 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 annual repair costs reach half 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 this time last year? That may be a sign that some part of your HVAC system is weakening. Most companies can give you 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 in need of replacing. Older heating units can be very inefficient, while newer products 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 a new system.
3. Old Age
Heating units were never designed to last as long as your home. 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 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% 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 too loud, that could be a indicator that your duct system is undersized and too much air is being pushed through too small an opening.
Other noises like squealing, jolting, clinking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical matter. It could be as straightforward as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of your unit has loosened or come completely detached.
Today’s latest units operate more soundlessly than ever. Often you’ll have to really pay attention to even know when they’re running. If noise pollution is a concern for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to better equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly hike 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 things 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 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 hiking up the temperature. Common grumbles 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 units help to keep this precious 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 HVAC system. 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 expert heating system contractor can start you on the road to resolving them.
So you do all your investigating and decide you do need a new heating unit, or you want to upgrade your furnace to high-efficiency technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total overhaul of the entire system, call Comfort Masters Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.