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Signs It’s Time to Replace the Furnace

Once the weather starts turning colder, homeowners turn on their heating system and expect it to keep the home warm. In most cases, the unit will work properly, but what if it doesn’t? If your home’s heating system isn’t performing correctly, it might be time to replace it. So, when should a furnace be replaced? Here are a few of the signs a furnace may need to be updated.

You’re Constantly Calling a Furnace Repair Service

Most furnaces don’t require frequent repairs. While routine maintenance should be scheduled at least once per year, actual repairs should be rare. Once components start failing often, it’s time to consider upgrading. While the winters in the Raleigh, NC, area are not exceptionally cold, a reliable source of heat is still necessary. 

Remember that all furnaces will need repairs during their lifetimes. That’s normal. For example, an ignitor for a gas-fired furnace may fail or a limit switch might need to be replaced. However, when repairs are needed multiple times during a heating season, that’s not normal. Consider discussing the reasons for those repairs with a furnace expert to determine if a replacement should be considered.

Not All Rooms in the Home are Equally Comfortable

When some of a home’s rooms are cold and uncomfortable, it’s time to have a furnace expert evaluate the system and determine how to improve the building’s overall comfort level. In some cases, altering the ductwork could eliminate the problem. However, there are times when the existing furnace isn’t capable of heating the home properly. Our HVAC experts are trained to identify furnace issues and recommend appropriate solutions.

This type of problem often occurs in homes with additions. Too often, contractors simply add to existing ducts rather than redesigning the heat distribution system. That’s why a room at the end of the duct system might be colder than one closer to the furnace. It’s important to install a duct system that provides balanced heating throughout the home.

The Home’s Furnace is Old

While some furnaces last longer than others, it’s a good idea to ask a professional about updating when a system is roughly 15 years old. It may not yet be time to replace the furnace, but the furnace expert can let you know how much longer the unit may last. Since replacing a furnace is expensive, knowing when a furnace may need replacing allows a homeowner to save the money for that upgrade. 

When a furnace needs to be replaced, homeowners may also consider switching to a different type of heater. Discuss the options with a furnace expert to determine if a switch to another energy source makes sense. For example, if the cost of gas is high, switching to a heat pump might make sense. Reviewing the costs for each energy source in the Raleigh area will make it easier to make an informed choice. Don’t rely only on the current data. Ask about expected energy cost trends in the future.

Heating Costs Are Too High

Older furnaces tended to be rather inefficient. Since energy costs keep going up, it often pays to replace older units that cost too much to operate. If your energy bills are higher than average, discuss the problem with your furnace expert. In many cases, the cost of a new, energy-efficient furnace can be offset within a few years by the lower bills. 

it’s also important to remember that newer furnaces allow automation levels that were not available in the past. When furnaces can be controlled using apps that reduce operating costs while still keeping a home comfortable, everyone is happier. Even less-sophisticated set-back thermostats help to keep expenses low, so take the time to discuss automation options with a furnace expert. 

The Furnace is Overly Noisy

All furnaces will make some noise, but if your home’s system is getting noisier, have a furnace expert check the system and recommend repair or replacement options. Wear and tear are inevitable, and once a furnace reaches a certain point, it’s no longer worth fixing. The costs for parts and labor are too high to justify. At that point, a furnace replacement is the only real option.

When updating a furnace, keep in mind that better-quality furnaces may cost a little more initially, but the investment will be returned many times over. A quality furnace is generally going to be more efficient, require fewer repairs, and last longer. Rather than choosing the least-expensive option, ask furnace experts about the advantages of choosing a quality furnace.

Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality is Poor

The EPA now states that most homes have indoor air quality that’s far below the levels of the surrounding outside air. That’s because, over the years, homeowners have taken steps to tighten up their houses to minimize air infiltration. While that saves money, the lack of air exchange significantly reduces the home’s indoor air quality. When a new furnace is installed, the techs can also include options that improve indoor air quality. Fresh air can be introduced to the system, and filters can be added to remove more dust and other pollutants. 

Why is that important? Breathing clean air is healthier, and that’s especially important for any residents with allergies or health issues that are exacerbated by inhaling dust and other pollutants. Whenever a resident is suffering from respiratory issues, improving the home’s indoor air quality is vitally important. When replacing a furnace, remember to ask about options designed to enhance your home’s air quality. 

Getting Started

If you’re concerned about the condition of your home’s furnace, now is the time to take action. The first step is to contact a furnace expert and schedule an appointment to have your home’s furnace inspected. During that inspection, the technician will carefully evaluate the overall condition of the current furnace to determine if relatively modest repairs and maintenance will suffice or if a new furnace should be considered. At that point, the technician will review the options and answer any questions you may have. Once all the necessary information is explained, you’ll be able to decide which option best fits your needs. 

Allen Kelly and Co. | | 919-779-4197 | | | | |