There is so much to worry about when it comes to taking care of your home.
- Should I get a security system?
- What types of light bulbs meet my lighting needs but are going to be energy efficient?
- Should I install carpet or tile?
As if that’s not enough, include one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heating system?
Your heating unit 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 unit that is wasting energy and money with every energy 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 maintenance visit or if it’s time to replace your current heater.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is normal for a heater to eventually need a new blower or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running correctly, but a well-maintained heating unit should work without much mending along the way. A few signs that your system may be in need of replacing are below:
- calling the service technician repeatedly for the same concern;
- needing several visits during the same heating season;
- constantly writing checks 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 heating system, it’s likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your heating are a little more than you remember them being? That may be a sign that some part of your heater 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 determining 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 the new system.
3. Old Age
Heating units 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 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 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 checkbook.
4. Excessive Noise
If you need to raise your voice to talk because your heating 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, 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 products operate more silently than ever. Often you’ll have to really give attention to even know that they’re running. If noise pollution is an issue 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 comfortable, 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 resolved 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 hiking up the thermostat. Common complaints when the humidity is too low are dry air, congestion, and chapped skin. Low humidity can even negatively impact wood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating systems help to keep this precious balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the HVAC 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 or pet dander, bacteria, 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 furnace, or you want to upgrade your furnace to green technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total rebuild of the entire system, call Roland J. Down Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.