There is so much to consider when it comes to running your home.
- Should I get a security system?
- What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are still energy efficient?
- Should I install carpets or hardwood?
As if that’s not enough, include one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heater?
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 heater that is wasting energy and money with every utility 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 unit.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is not uncommon for a heating system to eventually need a new blower or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running properly, but a well-maintained heater should work without much mending 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 issue;
- needing numerous 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 50 percent 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 heater 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 deciding if your heating unit is in need of replacing. Older heating systems can be very inefficient, while newer technologies are much more efficient at heating your home. Also, upgrading to a high-efficiency unit 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 until the end of time. Advanced, more efficient systems are 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 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 bank account.
4. Excessive Noise
If you need to raise your voice to talk because your heating 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 issue. 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 systems operate more silently than ever. Often you’ll have to really play close attention to even know if they’re running. If noise pollution is important for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to better equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly hike up the heating system 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 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 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 bumping up the thermostat. Common complaints when the humidity is too low are dry air, sinusitis, and chapped skin. Improper humidity can even negatively impact wood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating units help to keep this precious balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the heating 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 system. If you are experiencing issues with household odors, airborne allergens, such as pollen and pet dander, bacteria, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting an experienced heating system contractor can start you on the road toward fixing them.
So you do all your investigating and decide you do need a new heating unit, 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 R & M Climate Control Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.