We rely on our furnace to keep our homes warm and comfortable when the temperatures outside are anything but, and the last thing you want is to be without adequate heating during a cold snap. Proper preventative maintenance can go a long way toward ensuring your furnace continues to perform effectively, but there are some signs that you should be on the lookout for as it pertains to knowing when to seek professional repair or even when a new furnace may be necessary. Here’s a closer look:
Does Your Heating System Need Attention?
5 Signs to Watch for
Rising Utility Bills
Like any major component or appliance, the older your heating system gets, the less effectively it will operate. And as it becomes less overall effective, it will be forced to work harder to provide the heat that your home requires to stay comfortable. This often results in your heating system operating for longer periods of time, which will cause your utility bills to increase. If you’re noticing your bills climbing, do some homework and compare your utility costs over the past several years. While a new heating system consists of an upfront investment, it can be worth it long-term to replace an inefficient system with a newer, more effective unit.
This is one of the best ways to tell if your furnace or heating system requires attention, so listen up! If you hear strange popping, rattling, squealing or other odd noises coming from the furnace – especially when it kicks on – then it’s likely that it isn’t operating up to its full potential. A furnace should run with little to no noise, and any excessive noise is likely evidence of damaged components that require attention.
Inadequate Whole-House Heating
Like we said above, the older a furnace gets, the less efficient it’s likely to operate. And in addition to higher utility bills, another problem to watch for is inadequate whole-house heating. Do some rooms feel comfortable, but others feel cold and chilly? The first thing you’ll want to do is check for any obstructions with the vents. A duct inspection and cleaning may also be in order to re-establish proper airflow. But if inconsistencies persist, repair or replacement may be necessary to ensure adequate whole-home heating.
Constant Need for Repair
Just like an old car that you don’t want to continue sinking money into, there often comes a time when the cost to repair an aging heating system just isn’t worth it. Consider the age of your furnace and estimated maintenance and repair costs if you’re routinely calling an HVAC professional. Ask yourself: Is it worth it to continue to pay for repairs or does it make more sense to get a new unit?
The average furnace tends to last anywhere from 15 to 20 years, though with proper maintenance and care, some are able to last much longer. However, if your furnace is getting up there in age, it’s a good idea to begin budgeting for the cost of a replacement sometime in the near future. A new furnace offers several advantages over those made and installed decades ago, including better energy efficiency and overall operation, comparatively speaking.