Should You Upgrade Your Furnace? Published on December 28, 2015 There is so much to worry about when it comes to thinking about your home.Should I get a security system?What types of fixtures meet my lighting needs but are still energy efficient?Should I install carpet or hardwood? As if that’s not enough, include one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heating unit? Your heater shouldn’t require undivided 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 heater 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 maintenance visit 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 TLC once a year to make sure everything is running smoothly, but a well-maintained heating system should work without much mending along the way. A few indicators that the 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 just to keep the house comfortably warm. A general rule to remember: if annual repair costs reach half of the present value of the heating unit, it’s most likely time to replace. 2. Energy Efficiency Are your heating are a little more than they were last year? That may be a sign that some part of your heating system is weakening. Most companies can deliver a residential energy audit which can point out easily remedied inefficiencies like weather-stripping around doors and windows or attic insulation. It may also be the first step in determining if your heating unit is in need of replacing. Older heating units can be very inefficient, while newer products 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 the new system. 3. Old Age Heating equipment were never designed to last as long as your home. Better, more efficient systems are coming out all the time. But how long should your system 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% 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 heating system is so 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, rattling, bumping, or banging could be signs of a mechanical matter. It could be as straightforward as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of the unit has loosened or come completely separated. Today’s latest units operate more soundlessly than ever. Often you’ll have to really pay attention to even know when they’re running. If noise pollution is important for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to more modern equipment. 5. Temperature and Comfort Issues If you are having to constantly turn up the heater to keep things in the house comfortable, that should be a major warning that it’s time to re-evaluate your heating system. There are several factors that could cause this issue - it may be resolved 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 turning up the heat. Common grumbles when the humidity is too low are dry air, congestion, and chapped skin. Incorrect humidity can even negatively impact hardwood 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 system. If you are experiencing issues with household odors, airborne allergens, such as pollen and pet dander, germs, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting an expert 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 unit, or you want to upgrade to more efficient technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total overhaul of the entire system, call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.