When Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?

December 28, 2015

There are many things to contemplate when it comes to thinking about your home.

  • Should I get a security system?

  • What types of fixtures meet my lighting needs but are energy efficient?

  • Should I install carpets or hardwood?

And if that’s not enough, add one more thing to 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 heater that is wasting energy and money with every utility bill.

But how should 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 tune-up or if it’s time to replace your current heating unit.

1. Frequent Repair Costs

It is common for a heating unit to eventually need a part replacement or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running smoothly, but a well-maintained heating system should work without much fixing 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 concern;
  • needing several visits during the same heating season;
  • constantly writing checks simply 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 unit, it’s most likely time to replace your furnace.

2. Energy Efficiency

Are your energy are a little higher than this time last year? 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 deciding if your heating unit is giving up. Older heating systems 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 units were never designed to last until the end of time. Advanced, more efficient units are coming out all the time. But how long should your heating 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% more efficient, and that’s a difference you’ll notice in your home and your bank account.

4. Excessive Noise

If you have to raise your voice to talk because your system 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, shaking, clanking, 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 units operate more silently 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 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 comfortable, that should be a major warning that it’s time to re-evaluate your furnace. There are several factors 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 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 turning up the temperature. Common grumbles when the humidity is too low are dry air, sore throats, and chapped skin. Improper humidity can even negatively impact hardwood 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 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 unit. If you are experiencing issues with household odors, airborne allergens, such as pollen and pet dander, bacteria, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting an experienced heating system contractor can start you on the road toward fixing them.

So you do all your research and decide you do need a new heating system, 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 Falso Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.