When Should You Upgrade Your Furnace?

There is a lot to consider when it comes to taking care of your home. 

  • Should I get an 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? 

As if that’s not enough, include 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 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 unit. 

1. Frequent Repair Costs 

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

  • Calling the service technician repeatedly for the same problem; 
  • Needing numerous visits during the same heating season; 
  • Constantly accruing bills just 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 heating system is weakening. Most companies can give you a residential energy audit which can point out 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 going out. 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 a new system. 

3. Old Age 

Heating systems were never designed to last as long as your home. Better, more efficient technology is 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 less! 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 unit 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, rattling, clinking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical issue. It could be as easy as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of your unit has loosened or come completely separated. 

Today’s latest units function more soundlessly than ever. Often you’ll have to really play close attention to even know that they’re running. If noise pollution is important for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to more modern equipment. 

5. Temperature and Comfort Issues 

If you are having to constantly jack up the furnace to keep things in the house comfy, 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 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 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 hiking up the temperature. Common complaints when the humidity is too low are dry air, sinusitis, and chapped skin. Improper humidity can even negatively impact wooden floors and furniture. Today’s best heating systems help to keep this crucial 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 or pet dander, bacteria, 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 research 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 Stallion Heating and Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis. 

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