Depending on where you live, your furnace could be one of the most important appliances in your home. In many parts of the United States, winter temperatures can be below freezing for a few months, and your furnace provides warmth and comfort throughout your home during the heating season. While your furnace is an essential piece of equipment, it can be expensive to repair and even costlier to replace.
Regular annual service by a qualified HVAC technician can help to reduce the need for costly furnace repairs or other services. Additionally, a home warranty might also be beneficial in the face of expensive repairs. At some point, however, no matter how well you maintain and protect your furnace, it will need to be replaced. Even if your furnace continues to supply warm air to your home, you might still consider replacement based on several factors. Aside from system failure, often many homeowners wonder, “When should I replace my furnace?” Let’s look at some signs that you may need a new furnace.
In general, most experts agree that furnaces have a lifespan of about 20 years. However, with care and annual maintenance, you can extend the life of your furnace well beyond the expected 20 years. But even with careful attention, regular air filter changes, and routine maintenance, your furnace will begin to show signs of wear and tear. At some point, your unit will gradually begin to work less efficiently and experience increased incidents requiring service. While your older furnace might still be functioning, it could be costing a significant amount in energy bills and repair expenses. After about 15 years or so, you might consider switching to a new system with a high-efficiency furnace.
During various seasons, your home will experience different temperature variations. Factors such as location, sun, and shade could create warm or cold spots in certain areas around your home. While this is a normal occurrence in many homes, you may have a problem with your furnace if you notice increased temperature fluctuations. Sudden changes in temperatures between various rooms of your home are a sign that it might be time to consult an HVAC technician. Whether you have an older furnace or a malfunctioning system, a professional will help you with possible solutions, including a furnace replacement.
Numerous noises may indicate that it is time to repair or replace your furnace. Loud noises such as rattling, popping, humming, and screeching could mean that your furnace is failing. A loud humming or screeching could be related to a declining blower motor. Additionally, other noises could be warning signs of worn components or broken equipment. If you notice strange noises that aren’t normal for your furnace, you should seek the help of an HVAC contractor. A professional will help diagnose the issue and recommend a possible replacement if appropriate.
Increased Energy Bills
As discussed, an older furnace could slowly become less efficient over time. As your equipment ages, normal wear and tear will prevent the system from evenly distributing heat throughout your home. As your furnace has to work harder to keep up with temperature demands, you will begin to notice a spike in monthly energy bills. In general, your furnace could account for about 43 percent of your total annual energy spending. If you notice your energy bills are higher than normal during the winter season, it might signal an inefficient older system and the need for replacement. A professional technician can offer solutions for increasing your system efficiency. However, a replacement might be your best option.
If you notice that your older furnace is acting up or that you are shelling out more money for furnace repairs and higher energy bills, it might be time to consider a replacement unit. Contact a qualified professional to get a thorough inspection of your heating system and recommended solutions.