When Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?

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

  • Should I get an alarm system? 
  • What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are energy efficient? 
  • Should I install carpet or laminate wood? 

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

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 utility bill. 

But how should 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 normal for a heater to eventually need a new belt or a little TLC once a year to make sure everything is running properly, 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 frequently for the same issue; 
  • 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 system, it’s most likely time to replace your furnace. 

2. Energy Efficiency 

Are your energy are a little higher than this time last year? That may be a sign that some part of your heater is weakening. Most companies can provide 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 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 unit could mean tax credits or utility rebates and incentives to help you recoup the cost of the new system. 

3. Old Age 

Heating units were never designed to last until the end of time. Newer, more efficient units 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 percent 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 are having to raise your voice to talk because your unit is so 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, 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 detached. 

Today’s latest units work more quietly than ever. Often you’ll have to really play close attention to even know when they’re running. If noise pollution is an issue 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 heater to keep things in the house cozy, that should be a major sign that it’s time to re-evaluate your furnace. There are several factors that could cause this issue – it may be resolved 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 heat. Common complaints when the humidity is too low are dry air, sore throats, and chapped skin. Improper humidity can even negatively impact wood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating equipment helps to keep this important 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 HVAC unit. If you are experiencing issues with household odors, airborne allergens, such as pollen or pet dander, mold, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting an expert heating system contractor can start you on the road toward resolving them. 

So you do all your research and decide you do need a new heating unit, or you want to upgrade your furnace to more efficient technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total overhaul of the entire system, call Stallion Heating and Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis. 

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