When Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?

December 28, 2015

There is so much to worry about when it comes to running your home.

  • Should I get a home alarm system?

  • What types of 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 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 heating bill.

But how can I know if it’s time to replace my heating unit?

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 system.

1. Frequent Repair Costs

It is normal for a heating unit to eventually need a part replacement or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running correctly, but a well-maintained heater should work without much repairing 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 issue;
  • needing several visits during the same heating season;
  • constantly accruing bills just to keep your house comfortably warm.

A general rule to remember: if annual repair costs reach 50% of the present value of the heater, then it’s likely time to replace your furnace.

2. Energy Efficiency

Are your utility bills are a little higher than they were last year? That may be a sign that some part of your heating system is weakening. Most companies can deliver a residential energy audit which can show you 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 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 the new system.

3. Old Age

Heating units were never designed to last as long as your home. Newer, 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% 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 bank account.

4. Excessive Noise

If you need 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, shaking, clinking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical matter. It could be as easy as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of your unit has loosened or come completely detached.

Today’s latest systems work more silently than ever. Often you’ll have to really play close attention to even know that they’re running. If noise pollution is important for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to newer equipment.

5. Temperature and Comfort Issues

If you are having to constantly jack up the heater 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 factors that could cause this issue - it may be rectified 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 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 turning up the thermostat. Common grumbles when the humidity is too low are dry air, sinusitis, and chapped skin. Improper humidity can even negatively impact hardwood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating equipment helps to keep this important 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 experienced 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 renovation of the entire system, call Peitz Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.