There is a lot to contemplate when it comes to running your home.
- Should I get a security system?
- What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are energy efficient?
- Should I install carpeting or laminate wood?
Of course 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 constant 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 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 heater.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is normal for a heating unit to eventually need a part replacement or a little attention once a year to make sure everything is running smoothly, but a well-maintained heating unit 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 concern;
- needing multiple visits during the same heating season;
- constantly spending money 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, then it’s likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your heating are a little more expensive than they were last year? That may be a sign that some part of your heater is weakening. Most companies can provide 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 discovering if your heating unit is giving up. 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 until the end of time. Newer, more efficient technology is 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 furnaces operate at an efficiency of just 65 percent or worse! 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 heating unit is so 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, bumping, 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 disconnected.
Today’s latest units function more quietly 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 better equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly turn up the furnace to keep things in the house cozy, that should be a major sign 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 furnace, 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 issues 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 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 system. If you are experiencing issues with household odors, airborne allergens, such as pollen and pet dander, germs, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting a professional heating system contractor can start you on the road toward 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 green technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total overhaul of the entire system, call Stevenson Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.