Winter is officially upon us, which means you’ve probably fired up your furnace. But, if you’ve noticed your heating system acting up, it may be time for a repair or a replacement. Maybe your system is making a strange noise, or you’ve had to repair your 15-year-old furnace several times over the last few years. These are just a few of the signs that you may need to update your heating system.
First, we’ll explain why it’s so important to have an efficient, up-to-date furnace. Then, we’ll talk about five signs to watch out for in your home, business, or property that indicate you need an upgrade. Let’s get started!
Why should I update my heating system?
Three major reasons why you should consider a heating repair or replacement are saving money, reducing your carbon footprint, and putting safety first. An outdated heating system won’t run as efficiently, costing you more in the long run. On the other hand, when you update your furnace, you can cut your winter energy bill by up to 33 percent!
A new (or improved) heating system will let you help the planet as well. Every year, American heating systems release billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere. The good news is that with a higher-efficiency furnace, you can reduce carbon emissions by up to two tons and your pollution output by one-third.
Finally, it’s important to prioritize your family’s or customers’ safety when considering an update. You can repair faulty electronics, for example, but you’ll need to immediately replace any heating system with a cracked heat exchanger—which could eventually give off carbon monoxide gas. If you’re unsure about your furnace’s condition, a professional can help you assess the situation.
How will I know that my furnace is outdated?
Here are five questions to ask yourself—and five signs that you might need to update your heating system.
1. Is my heating
system more than 15 years old?
Older heating systems can cause ductwork issues or uneven temperatures in your home or business, where some rooms are too hot and others are too cold. Or, your furnace may struggle to keep up altogether, making for an especially chilly winter. That’s why the experts at Energy Star suggest maintaining or possibly replacing any furnace that’s more than 15 years old.
To find out how old your heating system is, first inspect the unit—your technician may have written the installation year directly on it. If this is not the case, check the inside of the chamber door to find the metal identification plate. Once you record your system’s model and serial number, you’ll be able to call the manufacturer and learn the date your system was built.
2. Does my furnace sound or smell weird?
All heating systems make the occasional sound, so not all noises are a cause for concern. Some “normal” noises include a continuous hum (when your system is running), swooshing from the air register (when the air is flowing), and a thump or squeal (when your system turns on or off). But, that last noise might mean that you have an undersized duct system or an issue with the indoor coil of your heat pump.
Unusual smells from your furnace can be more serious. For example, your utility company put a pungent substance in your natural gas to alert you to any natural gas leaks. If you smell something like rotten eggs, call in a professional to help you take action.
3. Am I paying too much on energy bills?
Whether you’re a homeowner, property manager, or business owner—we know you don’t love paying your energy bill! This is likely your largest expense each month, and heating makes up at least 40 percent of your annual energy bill. Energy costs naturally increase in the winter, too, when our homes and businesses have to work harder to keep us warm.
However, if you’re using the same amount of heat and energy as you always do in the winter, but you’re paying more than you did last year, your heating system might need a repair or replacement.
4. Are my air filters dirty?
Did you know that dirty air filters can slow down the air flow through your heating system? These blockages in your ductwork can lead to uneven temperatures in your home or business. Dirty air filters also make your furnace work harder, which increases those energy bills we talked about earlier.
Something you can do on your own is replacing your system’s air filter each month during the winter season. This will help your furnace run as efficiently as it can. But, if you suspect that there may be more issues with your ductwork, you can always call a professional.
5. Have I already made multiple repairs to the current system?
If you’re constantly having to fix your furnace, it’s probably time for a new system. When you work with a heating professional, he or she will take the time to examine the issue and learn the history of the repairs you’ve had so far.
It can be difficult to come to terms with the fact that you might need to update or completely replace your heating system. But, you’ll stop needing those frequent repairs—and you’ll save money in the long run.
When your furnace isn’t running as it should, you may be frustrated and unsure of what to do next. But, by looking for these five signs, you’ll have a better understanding of when (and why) you should upgrade!
Updating your heating system shouldn’t be a headache! Since 2015, Boiler Heating & Cooling has helped hundreds of customers find heating, cooling, and ductwork solutions and peace of mind. Visit our website, like us on Facebook, or give us a call!