A furnace is a major investment for any homeowner. Although it’s not something that will need to be done frequently, most people will face the decision of needing to purchase a new heating system sometime during home ownership.
Our team at Midwest Air Pros wants you to understand how your furnace works and what signs you can watch for to indicate it’s time for a replacement heating system.
Time Has Passed
Perhaps one of the biggest factors in deciding it’s time to replace your furnace is its age. The average life span of a furnace is 15 to 20 years, but this can vary greatly depending on how well you have maintained your system. However, if your furnace is more than a decade old, it may be time to start planning for a furnace replacement.
Repairs Increase in Number, Cost, and Frequency
Another sign that it may be time to swap out your furnace for a new model is its repair record. As your furnace ages, you’ll find yourself calling in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professionals more frequently. In addition, you’ll probably see the costs of service calls start increasing as well.
If your repair costs begin to reach half the cost of a new furnace within a year or so, it may be worth it to invest in a new heating system.
Utility Usage Rises
Keep an eye on your regular utility bills. If the unit cost of energy doesn’t rise but your monthly bills do, that may be another sign it’s time to replace your furnace. Older equipment tends to work less efficiently over time, which means it will require more energy to produce the same amount of heat.
One advantage of switching to a new furnace is that new models are always more energy efficient than older ones. As a result, you’ll automatically start recouping some of your investment in lower monthly utility bills.
For example, Money Magazine cites one possible example. If your annual heating costs are $2,000 and you increase your annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating by 15 percent in a new furnace, you will save $300 each year. Naturally these numbers depend on your fuel and energy sources.
Excessive Humidity, Dust, or Dirt
Although many factors can play a role in indoor air quality, your furnace can definitely make a difference. If routine maintenance like changing your air filters and regular tune-ups do not solve humidity, dust, or other air quality issues, it may be a sign you need to replace your furnace.
Strange Noises or Odors
Be sure to be attentive to the daily behavior of your furnace. Often, buzzing, vibrations, clanking, or other noises may warrant a service call. If your professional technician finds your furnace has excessive wear or structural damage, it’s a wise decision to invest in a new furnace.
Change in Comfort Level
When you run your furnace, if your home doesn’t feel as comfortable as it has in the past, you may want to explore the causes. Older furnaces that are working inefficiently can cause different rooms in your home to vary greatly in temperature, leading to uncomfortable cold and hot spots. When you upgrade your furnace and its components to newer models, you may be able to boost the comfort level of you and your family.
Finally, you can take a quick inventory of your furnace’s physical appearance. If you see signs of rusting, cracks, or other structural weaknesses, it may be a smart idea to evaluate your new furnace options.