Should You Upgrade Your Furnace? Published on December 28, 2015 There is a lot to consider when it comes to running your home.Should I get an alarm system?What types of bulbs meet my lighting needs but are energy efficient?Should I install carpet or laminate wood? As if that’s not enough, include one more thing on the list: When should I replace my heating system? Your heating system shouldn’t require undivided 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 system that is wasting energy and money with every heating bill. But how can I know if it’s time to replace my heater? The following warning signs can help you determine if you just need a quick tune-up or if it’s time to replace your current heating system. 1. Frequent Repair Costs It is normal for a heater to eventually need a part replacement or a little love once a year to make sure everything is running correctly, but a well-maintained heating system 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 frequently for the same concern;needing several visits during the same heating season;constantly writing checks simply to keep the house comfortably warm. A general rule to remember: if yearly repair costs reach 50 percent of the present value of the heating unit, it’s most 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 deliver a residential energy audit which can show you easily remedied inefficiencies like weather-stripping around doors and windows or attic insulation. It may also be the first step in determining 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 a new system. 3. Old Age Heating systems were never designed to last until the end of time. Newer, more efficient units are coming out all the time. But how long should your unit last? The magic number for a furnace or boiler is 15 years. But keep in mind many old heating units operate at an efficiency of just 65 percent or poorer! 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 heating unit is abnormally 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, rattling, clinking, or banging could be signs of a mechanical issue. It could be as easy as a worn belt, but it may mean an internal component of the unit has loosened or come completely disconnected. Today’s latest units operate more soundlessly than ever. Often you’ll have to really play close attention to even know if they’re running. If noise pollution is a concern for you, that may be reason enough to upgrade to newer equipment. 5. Temperature and Comfort Issues If you are having to constantly hike up the heating system to keep things in the house comfy, that should be a major red flag that it’s time to re-evaluate your heating system. There are several things 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 hiking up the thermostat. 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 systems help to keep this crucial balance right where it should be, adding or removing moisture before it ever enters the HVAC system. 7. Air Quality Issues Many 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 or pet dander, bacteria, ozone, and even plain old dust, consulting an expert heating system contractor can start you on the road toward resolving them. So you do all your investigating and decide you do need a new heater, or you want to upgrade to high-efficiency technology, replace your home’s ductwork, or do a total overhaul of the entire system, call Hammond Plumbing & Heating today for a free, no-obligation Home Comfort Analysis.