There is so much to contemplate when it comes to running your home.
- Should I get an alarm system?
- What types of light bulbs meet my lighting needs but are energy efficient?
- Should I install carpeting or laminate wood?
And if that’s not enough, add one more thing to the list: When should I replace my heating system?
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 heater that is wasting energy and money with every heating bill.
But how can 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 system.
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 properly, but a well-maintained heating unit should work without much mending 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 problem;
- needing several visits during the same heating season;
- constantly writing checks simply to keep your house comfortably warm.
A general rule to remember: if annual repair costs reach 50 percent of the present value of the heater, then it’s likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your energy are a little more than you remember them being? That may be a sign that some part of your heating system 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 determining if your heating unit is going out. Older heating units can be very inefficient, while newer technologies are much more efficient at heating your home. Also, upgrading to a high-efficiency product 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 forever. Advanced, 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 furnaces 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 checkbook.
4. Excessive Noise
If you need to raise your voice to talk because your heating system is so 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, clinking, 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 separated.
Today’s latest units operate more soundlessly than ever. Often you’ll have to really give attention to even know if they’re running. If noise pollution is an issue for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to newer 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 things 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 heater, 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 bumping up the heat. Common complaints when the humidity is too low are dry air, congestion, and chapped skin. Low humidity can even negatively impact hardwood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating units help 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
A number of 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 a professional heating system contractor can start you on the road toward fixing them.
So you do all your homework and decide you do need a new heater, or you want to upgrade your furnace to green technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total renovation of the entire system, call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.