5 Warning Signs You Need a New Furnace
Wondering how to know when to replace your furnace or boiler before it costs you money or leaves you in the cold? Here are five items to check:
1. Is your furnace over 15 years old?
The average life expectancy of a furnace is 15 to 20 years. Take time now to call your nearest contractor to find out about your options. They will provide a free in-home consultation and walk you through the heating systems best suited for the size of your home, your family (and pets), and your comfort preferences. It is better to do this as a planned HVAC upgrade rather than an emergency decision you need to make if your furnace quits working in the middle of winter.
2. Are your utility bills continually rising?
Furnaces lose their efficiency as they age — especially if they have not had annual tune-ups and cleanings. Indicated as a percentage, your furnace’s AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) tells you how much energy is being converted to heat. For example, an AFUE of 85 means that 85% of the fuel is being used to warm your home, while the other 15% escapes as exhaust up your chimney. Today’s high-efficiency gas furnaces offer AFUEs as high as 97%. You can easily see your new furnace pay itself back by the savings on your electric or gas bills.
3. Is your furnace making odd noises?
Older furnaces and boilers may make strange noises, such as squealing, rattling, or a whining or clunking sound, as they near the end of their useful life. This could be due to dirt build-up, failing motors, bearings, or leaks. Do you notice your blower fan continually running or turning on and off frequently? This can cause major problems with your heating system and should be discussed with a qualified heating and cooling contractor.
4. Has your furnace been repaired more than once over the past 3 years?
Heating equipment is most likely to suffer breakdowns as they near the end of their lives. Talk to your local dealer to see if now may be the time to stop paying for repairs and invest in a new, high-efficiency heating system. Plus, new systems offer easy add-on features, such as humidifiers and air purifiers, which help to keep you and your family healthier and more comfortable.
5. Do you have hot or cold spots in your home?
Do you ever feel cold drafts or noticeable swings in temperature when your furnace is not running? Or are you always adjusting the thermostat to keep one area of your home comfortable? This may indicate that your heating system is having trouble keeping up due to incorrect sizing. Contact your local dealer to determine the root of the problem. They can help you improve uneven temperatures, increase energy efficiency, enhance air quality, and help you with other issues you may have about your furnace or boiler.
For more expert advice, or if you have any other heating or cooling questions, contact your local dealer.
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