Thinking of replacing or repairing your furnace? Here are 4 signs that your heating system has reached the end of its useful life. It’s best to start investigating now in the fall instead of the middle of winter when you are rushed into a decision. Since nearly 30% of our annual energy bill goes towards heating, it’s a good idea to spend the time now to decide on a new furnace or not.
SHOULD YOU REPLACE YOUR FURNACE?
- Old Age (furnace is over 16 years old)
The average life expectancy of your home’s oil or natural gas furnace is between 16 and 20 years. If your furnace is near this age or older, it’s time to start shopping! You’ll want to start right away since waiting till the last minute often produces rushed and unwise decisions.
The lifespan of a furnace can vary based on how often a technician services it, so if you want your furnace to live a long and happy life, schedule annual maintenance with a technician at Cassel Home Comfort. Another good reason to schedule annual furnace maintenance is that your factory warranty most likely requires regular service visits. Schedule your Champaign area furnace tune-up here.
- High Energy Bills
If you’re noticing a rise in energy costs, address the issue promptly. As your furnace ages, it will lose its efficiency, especially if it hasn’t been properly maintained. Consequently, your furnace may run longer, only to provide the same amount of heat and hike up your bill. One quick thing you can do to increase your unit’s efficiency is to change your air filters (check every month and change/clean the filter every 1-3 months depending upon usage and other factors). You can hold up your filter to the light for a quick test – if you cannot see light passing through, it’s time to change your filter.
- Uneven Temperatures
If you feel that some rooms are too hot while others are too cold, or you’re constantly adjusting the thermostat to try and make the house more comfortable, you may want to consider shopping around for a new furnace. Similarly, if you have noticed that your heating bill keeps going up year after year, it may be more economical to replace your system than to keep using an inefficient HVAC system.
- Yellow Burner Flame
A properly functioning gas furnace has a flame that is blue with a small yellow tip at the flame’s inner cone. If your flame is almost entirely yellow, this signifies that you have a very serious and potentially dangerous problem as it could be producing carbon monoxide.
If you don’t have carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your home, including the basement and attic, and within 10 feet of every sleeping area, get them installed right away.
Also, remember to schedule annual furnace maintenance in the fall to prevent any carbon monoxide problems from your heating system during midwinter.
Furnace Replacement Benefits:
Convenience – less repairs means less waiting around for your service technician to arrive, diagnose the issue, go back for parts, return, and then have a similar issues weeks later.
Lower energy bills – heating and cooling accounts for over half of our annual energy bill, with about 30% of your annual bill going towards heating.
Peace of mind – with professional heating installations from a qualified HVAC contractor, any safety or reliability issues will be addressed to keep it running as close to its factory settings as possible. Annual furnace maintenance will also ensure your manufacturer’s warranties remain in effect!
For more home energy efficiency tips, see the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s four-step guide to making your home more comfortable, energy efficient and healthy.