There is a lot to worry about when it comes to taking care of your home.
- Should I get a home alarm system?
- What types of light bulbs meet my lighting needs but are going to be 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 heating system?
Your heating system 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 unit that is wasting energy and money with every utility 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 maintenance visit 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 attention once a year to make sure everything is running smoothly, but a well-maintained heating unit 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 repeatedly for the same problem;
- needing multiple visits during the same heating season;
- constantly spending money simply to keep your house comfortably warm.
A general rule to remember: if annual repair costs reach 50% 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 heating system is weakening. Most companies can deliver 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 determining if your heating unit is in need of replacing. Older heating units can be very inefficient, while newer products 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 equipment were never designed to last until the end of time. Better, more efficient systems are coming out all the time. But how long should your heating system last? The magic number for a furnace or boiler is 15 years. But keep in mind many old heating systems operate at an efficiency of just 65% or poorer! 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 have to raise your voice to talk because your unit 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, shaking, clanking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical problem. It could be as straightforward as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of your unit has loosened or come completely separated.
Today’s latest products operate more silently 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 heating system to keep things in the house comfortable, 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 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 turning up the temperature. Common grumbles when the humidity is too low are dry air, congestion, and chapped skin. Improper humidity can even negatively impact hardwood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating units help to keep this crucial balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the heating 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 system. 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 expert heating system contractor can start you on the road to resolving 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.