Should You Upgrade Your Furnace? Published on December 28, 2015 There are many things to consider when it comes to taking care of your home.Should I get an alarm system?What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are energy efficient?Should I install carpets or hardwood? As if that’s not enough, add one more thing to the list: When should I replace my heating system? Your heater shouldn’t require constant 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 utility bill. But how should 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 heater. 1. Frequent Repair Costs It is not uncommon for a heating unit to eventually need a new belt or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running properly, but a well-maintained heater 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 concern;needing multiple visits during the same heating season;constantly spending money simply to keep the house comfortably warm. A general rule to remember: if annual repair costs reach 50 percent of the present value of the heating unit, then it’s likely time to replace. 2. Energy Efficiency Are your energy are a little more than this time last year? 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 doors and windows or attic insulation. It may also be the first step in deciding if your heating unit is in need of replacing. Older heating units can be very inefficient, while newer technologies 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 systems were never designed to last as long as your home. Newer, more efficient systems are coming out all the time. But how long should your heating system last? The magic number for a furnace or boiler is 15 years. But keep in mind many old heating systems operate at an efficiency of just 65% 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 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, jolting, clanking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical matter. It could be as simple as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of the unit has loosened or come completely separated. Today’s latest systems function more soundlessly than ever. Often you’ll have to really play close attention to even know if they’re running. If noise pollution is important for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to better equipment. 5. Temperature and Comfort Issues If you are having to constantly jack up the heater to keep things in the house cozy, that should be a major red flag that it’s time to re-evaluate your heating system. There are several items 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 furnace, give some thought 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 temperature. Common complaints when the humidity is too low are dry air, congestion, and chapped skin. Low humidity can even negatively impact hardwood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating units help to keep this important balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the heating system. 7. Air Quality Issues Several 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, mold, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting an experienced heating system contractor can start you on the road to fixing them. So you do all your research and decide you do need a new heating system, or you want to upgrade to high-efficiency technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total rebuild of the entire system, call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.