There are many things to worry about 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 tile?
Of course if that’s not enough, go ahead and put one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heating system?
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 heating 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 system.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is common for a heating system to eventually need a part replacement or a little TLC once a year to make sure everything is running correctly, but a well-maintained heater should work without much mending along the way. A few signs that your system may be in need of replacing are below:
- calling the service technician frequently for the same concern;
- needing numerous 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 half of the present value of the heater, it’s likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your heating are a little more than they were last year? That may be a sign that some part of your HVAC system is weakening. Most companies can provide 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 discovering if your heating unit is giving up. 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 a new system.
3. Old Age
Heating equipment were never designed to last until the end of time. Better, 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 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 checkbook.
4. Excessive Noise
If you have to raise your voice to talk because your heating system is abnormally 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 matter. It could be as simple as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of your unit has loosened or come completely separated.
Today’s latest units operate more soundlessly than ever. Often you’ll have to really give attention to even know that they’re running. If noise pollution is a concern for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to better equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly jack 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 fixed 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 issues when the humidity is too low are dry air, congestion, and chapped skin. Low humidity can even negatively impact wood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating equipment helps 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
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, bacteria, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting an experienced heating system contractor can start you on the road toward resolving them.
So you do all your homework 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 rebuild of the entire system, call Barlow Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.