There is a lot to contemplate when it comes to running your home.
- Should I get a security system?
- What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are still energy efficient?
- Should I install carpet or hardwood?
As if that’s not enough, include one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heating system?
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 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 maintenance visit or if it’s time to replace your current heating unit.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is normal for a heating unit to eventually need a new belt or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running correctly, but a well-maintained heater should work without much fixing along the way. A few indicators that your system may be in need of replacing are below:
- calling the service technician multiple times for the same issue;
- needing several 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 heater, then it’s likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your energy are a little more expensive than they were last year? That may be a sign that some part of your heater is weakening. Most companies can provide a residential energy audit which can point to 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 systems can be very inefficient, while newer technologies 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 forever. Better, more efficient technology is 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% 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 indication that your duct system is undersized and too much air is being pushed through too small an opening.
Other noises like squealing, jolting, clanking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical issue. It could be as simple as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of your unit has loosened or come completely detached.
Today’s latest systems operate more quietly than ever. Often you’ll have to really give attention to even know when they’re running. If noise pollution is a concern for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to more modern equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly bump up the heating system to keep things in the house cozy, 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 resolved 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 heat. Common complaints when the humidity is too low are dry air, sinusitis, and chapped skin. Low humidity can even negatively impact hardwood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating units help to keep this crucial balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the HVAC 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 and pet dander, bacteria, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting a professional heating system contractor can start you on the road toward fixing 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 renovation of the entire system, call Church Services today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.