When Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?

December 28, 2015

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 energy efficient?

  • Should I install carpet or laminate wood?

And 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 constant 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 can 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 heating system.

1. Frequent Repair Costs

It is normal for a heating system to eventually need a new blower or a little attention once a year to make sure everything is running properly, but a well-maintained heating system should work without much mending along the way. A few signs that your system may be in need of replacing are below:

  • calling the service technician multiple times for the same concern;
  • needing multiple visits during the same heating season;
  • constantly spending money just to keep your house comfortably warm.

A general rule to remember: if yearly repair costs reach 50% 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 higher 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 systems 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 systems were never designed to last as long as your home. Newer, more efficient units are coming out all the time. But how long should your heating 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 poorer! 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 checkbook.

4. Excessive Noise

If you are having to raise your voice to talk because your heating system is too loud, that could be a sign 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 problem. It could be as simple as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of your unit has loosened or come completely separated.

Today’s latest products work more silently than ever. Often you’ll have to really play close attention to even know if 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 turn up the furnace to keep things in the house comfortable, that should be a major sign that it’s time to re-evaluate your furnace. There are several items 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 turning up the thermostat. Common grumbles when the humidity is too low are dry air, sinusitis, and chapped skin. Low humidity can even negatively impact wood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating equipment helps to keep this precious 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 and pet dander, mold, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting an experienced 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 furnace, or you want to upgrade your furnace to high-efficiency technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total overhaul of the entire system, call Gordon's Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.