There is a lot to contemplate when it comes to running your home.
- Should I get an alarm system?
- What types of light bulbs meet my lighting needs but are still energy efficient?
- Should I install carpet or laminate wood?
Of course if that’s not enough, include one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heater?
Your heating unit 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 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 heating system.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is common for a heater to eventually need a part replacement or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running smoothly, but a well-maintained heater should work without much repairing 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 problem;
- needing numerous visits during the same heating season;
- constantly writing checks simply to keep your house comfortably warm.
A general rule to remember: if yearly repair costs reach half of the present value of the heater, it’s most likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your energy are a little more 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 show you 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 in need of replacing. Older heating systems 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 your new system.
3. Old Age
Heating equipment were never designed to last forever. Newer, more efficient technology is coming out all the time. But how long should your unit 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 wallet.
4. Excessive Noise
If you need to raise your voice to talk because your heater is too 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, bumping, or banging could be signs of a mechanical problem. 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 systems work more soundlessly than ever. Often you’ll have to really pay attention to even know if 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 heating system to keep things in the house cozy, that should be a major warning that it’s time to re-evaluate your furnace. There are several items 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 system, 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 grumbles 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 systems help 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 HVAC 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 an experienced 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 heating unit, 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 Teays Valley Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.