When Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?

There are many things to contemplate when it comes to thinking about your home. 

  • Should I get a home alarm system? 
  • What types of fixtures meet my lighting needs but are still energy efficient? 
  • Should I install carpets or laminate wood? 

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

Your heater 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 do I know if it’s time to replace my heater? 

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 love 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 signs that your system may be in need of replacing are below: 

  • Calling the service technician multiple times for the same problem; 
  • Needing multiple 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% of the present value of the heating system, then it’s likely time to replace your furnace. 

2. Energy Efficiency 

Are your energy 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 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 product could mean tax credits or utility rebates and incentives to help you recoup the cost of the new system. 

3. Old Age 

Heating equipment were never designed to last until the end of time. Newer, more efficient technology is 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 units 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 heating unit is abnormally loud, that could be a indicator that your duct system is undersized and too much air is being pushed through too small an opening. 

Other noises like squealing, shaking, clinking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical matter. It could be as easy as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of your unit has loosened or come completely disconnected. 

Today’s latest products work more quietly than ever. Often you’ll have to really pay attention to even know if they’re running. If noise pollution is an issue for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to newer equipment. 

5. Temperature and Comfort Issues 

If you are having to constantly turn 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 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 heating system, 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 issues when the humidity is too low are dry air, congestion, and chapped skin. Incorrect 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 HVAC 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 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 a professional heating system contractor can start you on the road to fixing them. 

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