There are many things 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 carpet or laminate wood?
And if that’s not enough, add one more thing to the list: When should I replace my heater?
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 should 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 service or if it’s time to replace your current heater.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is normal for a heating system to eventually need a part replacement or a little attention once a year to make sure everything is running smoothly, but a well-maintained heating system 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 problem;
- needing numerous visits during the same heating season;
- constantly writing checks simply 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 you remember them being? 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 discovering 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 your new system.
3. Old Age
Heating systems were never designed to last until the end of time. Better, more efficient technology is 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 systems operate at an efficiency of just 65 percent 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 bank account.
4. Excessive Noise
If you are having to raise your voice to talk because your heating 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, rattling, bumping, or banging could be signs of a mechanical problem. 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 units function more quietly than ever. Often you’ll have to really give attention to even know that they’re running. If noise pollution is important 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 unit, 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 bumping up the thermostat. Common issues when the humidity is too low are dry air, sinusitis, and chapped skin. Improper humidity can even negatively impact hardwood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating units help to keep this important balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the HVAC 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 HVAC unit. If you are experiencing issues with household odors, airborne allergens, such as pollen and pet dander, germs, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting an expert heating system contractor can start you on the road toward fixing them.
So you do all your homework and decide you do need a new furnace, 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 Levy & Son Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.