There is so much to worry about when it comes to taking care of your home.
- Should I get a home alarm system?
- What types of fixtures meet my lighting needs but are energy efficient?
- Should I install carpets or laminate wood?
And if that’s not enough, include one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heater?
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 system?
The following warning signs can help you determine if you just need a quick tune-up or if it’s time to replace your current heating unit.
1. Frequent Repair Costs
It is normal for a heater to eventually need a part replacement or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running correctly, but a well-maintained heating system should work without much fixing along the way. A few indications 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 accruing bills 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 heater, it’s likely time to replace your furnace.
2. Energy Efficiency
Are your heating are a little more than you remember them being? That may be a sign that some part of your heater is weakening. Most companies can provide a residential energy audit which can point to easily remedied inefficiencies like weather-stripping around your doors and windows or attic insulation. It may also be the first step in discovering if your heating unit is in need of replacing. Older heating units can be very inefficient, while newer systems 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 the 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 heating unit last? The magic number for a furnace or boiler is 15 years. But keep in mind many old furnaces operate at an efficiency of just 65 percent or worse! 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 checkbook.
4. Excessive Noise
If you are having to raise your voice to talk because your heater is too loud, that could be a sign that your duct system is undersized and too much air is being pushed through too small an opening.
Other noises like squealing, jolting, clinking, 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 disconnected.
Today’s latest products function more soundlessly than ever. Often you’ll have to really play close attention to even know that they’re running. If noise pollution is a concern for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to newer equipment.
5. Temperature and Comfort Issues
If you are having to constantly bump up the heater to keep things in the house comfy, that should be a major warning that it’s time to re-evaluate your furnace. There are several factors that could cause this issue - it may be rectified with a new thermostat that allows you more control – so before you assume that you’re in for a whole new heater, 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 heat. Common issues when the humidity is too low are dry air, congestion, and chapped skin. Incorrect humidity can even negatively impact wood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating units help to keep this precious balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the HVAC system.
7. Air Quality Issues
Many 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 or pet dander, mold, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting an experienced heating system contractor can start you on the road toward resolving them.
So you do all your homework and decide you do need a new heating system, or you want to upgrade your furnace to high-efficiency technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total overhaul of the entire system, call Rob's Albertan Service Experts today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.