There is a lot to contemplate when it comes to running your home.
- Should I get a security system?
- What types of light bulbs meet my lighting needs but are still energy efficient?
- Should I install carpeting or laminate wood?
Of course if that’s not enough, add one more thing to the list: When should I replace my heating unit?
Your heating system shouldn’t require constant 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 system that is wasting energy and money with every utility 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 tune-up or if it’s time to replace your current heating unit.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is common for a heater to eventually need a new belt or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running correctly, 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 frequently for the same issue;
- needing numerous visits during the same heating season;
- constantly writing checks simply to keep your house comfortably warm.
A general rule to remember: if yearly repair costs reach 50 percent of the present value of the heating system, then it’s likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your heating are a little more than you remember them being? That may be a sign that some part of your HVAC 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 system 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 as long as your home. Newer, more efficient systems are 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 furnaces operate at an efficiency of just 65% or worse! 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 checkbook.
4. Excessive Noise
If you need to raise your voice to talk because your unit is so 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, shaking, clinking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical matter. It could be as straightforward 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 silently 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 more modern equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly turn up the heater 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 things 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 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 hiking up the thermostat. Common complaints when the humidity is too low are dry air, sinusitis, 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
Many issues that don’t directly relate to temperature can be improved significantly with an expertly designed and properly installed HVAC system. If you are experiencing issues with household odors, airborne allergens, such as pollen or 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 investigating and decide you do need a new heating unit, or you want to upgrade your furnace to green technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total rebuild of the entire system, call Donelson Air Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.