There is a lot to contemplate when it comes to taking care of your home.
- Should I get a home alarm system?
- What types of light bulbs meet my lighting needs but are still energy efficient?
- Should I install carpet or hardwood?
And if that’s not enough, go ahead and put one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heater?
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 heater that is wasting energy and money with every energy bill.
But how do 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 heating unit.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is common for a heater to eventually need a part replacement or a little attention once a year to make sure everything is running correctly, but a well-maintained heating unit should work without much fixing along the way. A few indications that your system may be in need of replacing are below:
- calling the service technician repeatedly for the same problem;
- needing multiple visits during the same heating season;
- constantly accruing bills 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 unit, 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 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 going out. Older heating units can be very inefficient, while newer systems 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 your new system.
3. Old Age
Heating equipment were never designed to last until the end of time. Better, more efficient units 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 heating units 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 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 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, jolting, clanking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical matter. It could be as simple as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of your unit has loosened or come completely disconnected.
Today’s latest products operate more soundlessly 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 better equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly jack up the heating system to keep things in the house comfy, that should be a major warning 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 unit, give some consideration 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 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 crucial balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the heating system.
7. Air Quality Issues
Many issues that don’t directly relate to temperature can be improved significantly with an expertly designed and properly installed heating 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 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 Climate Control Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.