There is a lot to consider when it comes to running your home.
- Should I get a home alarm system?
- What types of fixtures meet my lighting needs but are going to be 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 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 heating bill.
But how do 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 maintenance visit or if it’s time to replace your current heater.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is not uncommon 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 fixing along the way. A few indicators that your system may be in need of replacing are below:
- calling the service technician repeatedly for the same issue;
- needing multiple visits during the same heating season;
- constantly accruing bills just to keep your house comfortably warm.
A general rule to remember: if yearly repair costs reach 50 percent 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 more expensive than they were last year? That may be a sign that some part of your HVAC system is weakening. Most companies can give you 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 deciding if your heating unit is giving up. Older heating units can be very inefficient, while newer technologies are much more efficient at heating your home. Also, upgrading to a high-efficiency unit 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. Better, more efficient systems 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% more efficient, and that’s a difference you’ll notice in your home and your wallet.
4. Excessive Noise
If you are having to raise your voice to talk because your heating system 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, clanking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical problem. 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 operate more soundlessly than ever. Often you’ll have to really play close attention to even know when they’re running. If noise pollution is important for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to newer equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly jack 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 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 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 turning up the temperature. Common complaints when the humidity is too low are dry air, sinusitis, and chapped skin. Low humidity can even negatively impact wooden 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 heating unit.
7. Air Quality Issues
A number of 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 and pet dander, mold, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting a professional heating system contractor can start you on the road to fixing them.
So you do all your research and decide you do need a new heater, or you want to upgrade your furnace to green technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total overhaul of the entire system, call McElroy Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.