When Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?

There is so much to contemplate when it comes to taking care of your home. 

  • Should I get a security system? 
  • What types of light bulbs meet my lighting needs but are still energy efficient? 
  • Should I install carpet or hardwood? 

As if that’s not enough, go ahead and put one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heating system? 

Your heating unit 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 energy bill. 

But how do 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 heater. 

1. Frequent Repair Costs 

It is not uncommon for a heater to eventually need a part replacement or a little TLC once a year to make sure everything is running correctly, 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 multiple times for the same problem; 
  • 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 half of the present value of the heating unit, it’s most 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 HVAC system is weakening. Most companies can give you 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 discovering if your heating unit is giving up. Older heating units can be very inefficient, while newer systems 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 a 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 system 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 worse! 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 wallet. 

4. Excessive Noise 

If you need to raise your voice to talk because your system is too 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, 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 products function more quietly than ever. Often you’ll have to really play close attention to even know when they’re running. If noise pollution is a concern 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 furnace to keep things in the house comfy, that should be a major red flag that it’s time to re-evaluate your furnace. There are several things 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 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 temperature. Common complaints when the humidity is too low are dry air, sore throats, and chapped skin. Low humidity can even negatively impact hardwood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating systems help to keep this important balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the HVAC 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 heating unit. If you are experiencing issues with household odors, airborne allergens, such as pollen or pet dander, germs, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting an experienced heating system contractor can start you on the road to fixing them. 

So you do all your investigating and decide you do need a new heater, 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 Stallion Heating and Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis. 

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