The heating season is fast approaching (for most of us, it’s already here!) and the last thing you want to do is return home to a frosty house. The best time to examine and evaluate your furnace is BEFORE the unit fails, not when the problem arises.
So how do you know when it is time to replace your furnace? If your furnace was installed when you purchased your home, the first thing to do is find out the age of your unit. This may be as simple as looking at the original owner’s manual or invoice, or calling the manufacturer with the unit’s model number.
Most of today’s models operate reliably for 20 to 30 years, however, if your unit is more than 15 years old, it may be time to think about replacing it.
According to many programs, a new Energy-Star certified gas furnace is typically 15% more efficient than a conventional gas furnace, and can save families an average of $94 in energy costs per year.
Here are some telltale signs your furnace should be replaced:
- Your furnace needs frequent repairs (that aren’t cheap!)
- Your energy bills are going up, despite usage staying the same
- The rooms in your house are heating unevenly, with some rooms hotter or colder than others
- Your furnace is cycling on and off more frequently than in the past
- Your home is starting to have humidity problems
- Your furnace has become excessively noisy and/or develops rattles, buzzes or hums
- Your furnace starts putting out an excessive amount of dust, soot, dirt, or rust particles
- You see visible signs of rust in and around your furnace
- Some of the furnace components show cracks or corrosion
If your furnace exhibits any of the above “warning signs”, call in the experts at Hunter Plumbing & Heating to inspect your unit. A simple repair may be able to solve your problem; in other cases, changing the filter or adding a new thermostat may also do the trick. In worse cases, replacing your furnace may be the best option.
New furnaces are generally ranked by efficiency: mid-efficiency furnaces average 80% efficiency; high-efficiency furnaces reach about 90% efficiency; and ultra high-efficiency furnaces improve on standard high-efficiency models with variable-speed fans and controls, which enable these units to achieve up to 97% efficiency.
Not sure which furnace will best suit your needs? Contact Hunter Plumbing & Heating for a free estimate and furnace inspection appointment. We will clean and inspect your furnace burner, blower and related components, clean all drains and condensate equipment, clean burner and flame rod and test your furnace operation and combustion. This way, you will never be stuck without heat in the dead of winter!