There are many things to contemplate when it comes to taking care of your home.
- Should I get a security system?
- What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are still energy efficient?
- Should I install carpeting or laminate wood?
As if that’s not enough, include one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heater?
Your heater 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 system that is wasting energy and money with every energy 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 heating unit.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is normal for a heater to eventually need a new belt or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running correctly, but a well-maintained heating system 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 frequently for the same issue;
- needing multiple 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 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 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 out 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 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. Newer, more efficient technology is 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% 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 need to raise your voice to talk because your system is abnormally 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, bumping, 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 detached.
Today’s latest units operate more soundlessly than ever. Often you’ll have to really pay attention to even know that 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 bump 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 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 heat. Common grumbles when the humidity is too low are dry air, sore throats, and chapped skin. Improper humidity can even negatively impact wooden floors and furniture. Today’s best heating equipment helps to keep this crucial balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the HVAC unit.
7. Air Quality Issues
A number of 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, mold, 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 unit, or you want to upgrade your furnace to more efficient technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total rebuild of the entire system, call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.