Your furnace is showing signs of aging and use, but is it time for a replacement? Here are 6 common signs it might be time to replace your furnace. Separately these signs may not be enough reason to replace your furnace, but the more signs that you see, the more likely you need a new unit.
1) Your furnace is more than 15 years old
If well maintained, furnaces last between 15 and 20 years. If your furnace is more than 15 years old, chances are high it is nearing the end of its life. There is no reason to replace a functioning furnace that is just old, but if you are also seeing signs we list below, it may be time to get an estimate from an HVAC expert.
2) Your furnace frequently needs repairs
When furnaces are not well maintained or they are getting old, they will need more and more repairs as they near the need for replacement. If you’ve had several costly furnace repairs in one season, it’s probably time for a new unit. Before you enter another season full of repairs, add up the repair costs over the last two years and see if it’s cost efficient to buy a new furnace.
3) Your heating bill continues to increase
A variety of problems could be causing an increase in your energy bills, but if you get regular maintenance on your furnace, your bill should not be steadily increasing. A steady or sudden increase in your heating bill is often a sign of a furnace that is old and ready for replacement. Have an HVAC expert take a look at your furnace to determine whether you need a repair or replacement. In the long run, you could save a lot of money by keeping your monthly utilities bill low with a newer unit.
4) Your thermostat doesn’t seem to work
It might be time for a new furnace if you notice some spots in your home are much cooler than others and the thermostat doesn’t seem to match the temperature of your home. Furnaces are not only responsible for producing heat, but they should distribute heat throughout the home according to the temperature you set. This could also mean your ducts need cleaning or you need a new thermostat, so be sure to have an HVAC technician take a look.
5) Your furnace makes strange noises
Old furnaces tend to make noises when they run, but if they are unusual and loud, you should get the system checked out as soon as possible. Sometimes this can be fixed with a simple repair, but other times the repair is very expensive and a technician might recommend a new system.
6) Something looks wrong
If there is excess dust around your furnace or in your home, you see cracks or corrosion on the unit itself, or the flame in the furnace is yellow and not blue, it could mean you need a new unit. Signs like this depend on the age and maintenance of the unit, but often they mean an expensive repair or the need for a new furnace. In addition, all of these signs could signify a health hazard, so be sure to get an HVAC expert to take a look.
Replacing your furnace is quite expensive, so we recommend one cleaning/tune-up per year from a trained HVAC technician to prolong the life of the unit. If you see more than one sign listed above, it could be time to get a new unit. If you are not seeing these signs but a technician says you need a new unit, always get a second opinion! Click here for information on HVAC scams you should avoid.