When Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?

December 28, 2015

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

  • Should I get a security system?

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

  • Should I install carpet or hardwood?

And if that’s not enough, include one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heating system?

Your heater 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 heating unit that is wasting energy and money with every energy bill.

But how should 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 service 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 properly, but a well-maintained heating unit should work without much repairing along the way. A few indications 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 writing checks just to keep your house comfortably warm.

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

2. Energy Efficiency

Are your heating are a little more than this time last year? That may be a sign that some part of your HVAC 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 deciding if your heating unit is giving up. 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 until the end of time. Newer, more efficient units are 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 percent 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 have to raise your voice to talk because your unit is abnormally 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, shaking, bumping, 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 function more quietly 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 hike up the heating system to keep things in the house cozy, that should be a major red flag that it’s time to re-evaluate your furnace. There are several items that could cause this issue - it may be fixed 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 attention 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, congestion, and chapped skin. Improper humidity can even negatively impact wood 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

A number of 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 or pet dander, bacteria, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting an expert heating system contractor can start you on the road to fixing them.

So you do all your research 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 overhaul of the entire system, call Rolf Griffin Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.