There is a lot to contemplate when it comes to thinking about your home.
- Should I get an alarm system?
- What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are energy efficient?
- Should I install carpeting or laminate wood?
And if that’s not enough, add one more thing to the list: When should I replace my heating unit?
Your heating unit 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 heater that is wasting energy and money with every utility bill.
But how can 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 system.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is not uncommon for a heating unit to eventually need a new blower or a little attention once a year to make sure everything is running smoothly, but a well-maintained heater 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 accruing bills just to keep your house comfortably warm.
A general rule to remember: if annual repair costs reach 50% of the present value of the heater, it’s most likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your heating 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 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 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 the new system.
3. Old Age
Heating systems were never designed to last forever. Advanced, 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 furnaces operate at an efficiency of just 65 percent or less! 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 need to raise your voice to talk because your heater is abnormally 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 products operate more soundlessly than ever. Often you’ll have to really pay attention to even know when they’re running. If noise pollution is important for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to better equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly turn up the heater 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 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 system, 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 bumping up the temperature. Common grumbles when the humidity is too low are dry air, sinusitis, 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 unit.
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 an expert 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 overhaul of the entire system, call Sunbeam Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.