There is a lot to worry about when it comes to running your home.
- Should I get a security system?
- What types of light bulbs meet my lighting needs but are going to be energy efficient?
- Should I install carpet or hardwood?
As if that’s not enough, go ahead and put one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heating system?
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 energy bill.
But how can 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 service or if it’s time to replace your current heater.
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 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 repeatedly for the same concern;
- needing several visits during the same heating season;
- constantly writing checks simply to keep your house comfortably warm.
A general rule to remember: if annual repair costs reach 50 percent of the present value of the heating unit, it’s most likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your energy are a little more than they were last year? That may be a sign that some part of your heating system 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 deciding if your heating unit is going out. Older heating systems 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 your new system.
3. Old Age
Heating units were never designed to last until the end of time. Newer, more efficient systems are coming out all the time. But how long should your heating 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 poorer! 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 wallet.
4. Excessive Noise
If you are having to raise your voice to talk because your unit is too loud, that could be a indicator that your duct system is undersized and too much air is being pushed through too small an opening.
Other noises like squealing, rattling, bumping, or banging could be signs of a mechanical problem. It could be as easy as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of your unit has loosened or come completely detached.
Today’s latest products operate more soundlessly than ever. Often you’ll have to really play close attention to even know if they’re running. If noise pollution is an issue for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to newer equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly hike up the heater to keep things in the house comfy, 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 resolved 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 temperature. Common complaints when the humidity is too low are dry air, congestion, and chapped skin. Low humidity can even negatively impact wooden floors and furniture. Today’s best heating systems help to keep this important balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the HVAC system.
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, mold, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting a professional heating system contractor can start you on the road to resolving them.
So you do all your research 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 rebuild of the entire system, call Broad Ripple Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.