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 a security system?What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are energy efficient?Should I install carpets or tile? Of course if that’s not enough, go ahead and put one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heating unit? 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 heating unit that is wasting energy and money with every energy bill. But how do 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 not uncommon for a heater to eventually need a new belt or a little attention once a year to make sure everything is running correctly, but a well-maintained heater should work without much fixing along the way. A few indications that the system may be in need of replacing are below:calling the service technician frequently for the same issue;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 utility bills are a little more expensive than they were last year? That may be a sign that some part of your HVAC system 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 giving up. Older heating units can be very inefficient, while newer technologies are much more efficient at heating your home. Also, upgrading to a high-efficiency system could mean tax credits or utility rebates and incentives to help you recoup the cost of your new system. 3. Old Age Heating units were never designed to last until the end of time. Better, 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 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 checkbook. 4. Excessive Noise If you need to raise your voice to talk because your system 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, shaking, bumping, or banging could be signs of a mechanical issue. 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 products function more silently than ever. Often you’ll have to really pay attention to even know when they’re running. If noise pollution is an issue 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 comfy, that should be a major sign that it’s time to re-evaluate your heating system. There are several things 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 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 hiking up the temperature. Common grumbles when the humidity is too low are dry air, congestion, and chapped skin. Low humidity can even negatively impact wood floors and furniture. Today’s best heating systems help to keep this crucial balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the HVAC unit. 7. Air Quality Issues Many issues that don’t directly relate to temperature can be improved significantly with an expertly designed and properly installed heating unit. If you are experiencing issues with household odors, airborne allergens, such as pollen or pet dander, germs, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting an expert heating system contractor can start you on the road toward fixing them. So you do all your investigating and decide you do need a new heater, or you want to upgrade to green 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.