Most homeowners live in fear of the day that they wake up to a cold house only to discover that their furnace is not working. When this happens, your first thought is to call your trusted HVAC contractor and hope that the problem is easily fixed. However, when you seem to have the number memorized, questions about replacing your furnace should begin to bounce around in your head. For many homeowners, the most critical issue after, can I afford it, is how do I know that this is really the time for a new unit? Here are several tips to know when the time has come to replace your furnace.
- AGE-The age of the unit will have a great deal to do with your decision. The furnace was likely installed before you purchased the home. You might be able to locate the installation date on the furnace or the owner’s manual. If not, you might be able to call the contractor who installed it to get an idea of its age. Most contractors will put a sticker on the furnace with contact information in an effort to let future owners know whom to call for service. You can also Google the model number to get an idea of when it was made and a rough idea of the installation timeframe. The average lifespan of a furnace is 15 to 20 years, but that is with regular maintenance and average usage. In colder climates, the lifespan is on the lower end of the scale due to the increased use.
- COST TO OPERATE-When you notice that your utility bills are steadily increasing, but your rate is not going up, then it’s time to look at the efficiency of your furnace. Newer units are sure to provide better energy-efficiency and, most likely, more even heat and comfort throughout your home.
- TOO MUCH DUST AND DIRT-When you begin to notice that there is always dust and dirt flying around your home when the furnace is running, it is time to think about a newer model. Old units begin to have leaks that allow dust and dirt inside the blower. A new unit will have a better seal and will eliminate this issue that could be creating severe allergy concerns.
- HUMIDITY ISSUES-If your home is always too dry in the wintertime, the culprit is often your furnace. Not only is this dry air hard on your body, but it can be very damaging to wood floors. A new furnace with humidity controls will eliminate the dryness throughout your home.
- UNEVEN HEATING-If you are noticing that not all of your home offers the same comfortable temperature, it’s likely to be the fault of your furnace. Older units don’t do a good job of circulating the heated air in larger spaces.
- ODD NOISES-Your furnace will make a noticeable sound when it is functioning correctly. But if you find that it has begun to make rattling sounds, it buzzes loudly, or the overall sound is much louder than it was in the past, start to think about a replacement. These are signs that the unit is wearing out.
- VISIBLE RUST OR CRACKS-If you can see rust, corrosion, or cracks on your furnace, it is time to start getting some replacement estimates. These issues are allowing dust and dirt into the unit and distributing it through your home. Also, if the outside is wearing out, you can be sure that other mechanical parts inside are aging as well.
- FREQUENT REPAIRS-If you have your HVAC specialist on speed dial, then another costly repair is not going to be a smart financial decision. A small repair every few years is not overly concerning. But if you are paying big money every few months for repairs, then investing that money in a new, reliable furnace is the best choice. As a general rule, if you are have spent almost half of the cost of a new furnace on repairs, then it is time for a replacement unit. And as you get closer to that 15 to 20-year mark, stop your repairs at about 25% of the cost of a new furnace and eliminate the potential for some frigid mornings thanks to an old and broken down furnace.
Replacing your furnace is a big decision and a significant financial commitment. But a call to (318) 202-9144 for an evaluation of your current furnace and the cost of a replacement is wise when you begin experiencing these situations. A Gordon AC & Plumbing professional can help you evaluate your options and make a smart choice for your future.