Believe it or not, the average homeowner spends about $2,000 each year on maintenance and repair costs. While many of those costs come from basic upkeep like landscaping and roof repairs, a good portion of that budget ends up going towards the heating and cooling system.
The last thing any homeowner wants is to watch their maintenance budget skyrocket due to a malfunctioning furnace. But how can you tell when it’s time to invest in a new furnace rather than keep fixing the problems? Here are a few tell-tale signs that it’s time to replace your furnace rather than just get it fixed.
The Furnace Is Old
Furnaces should provide you with years of use. But that doesn’t mean they’ll work forever. In fact, the average furnace only lasts for 15 to 20 years. Once it’s older than that, you’ll be at risk for spontaneous breakdowns and costly repairs. If you can’t remember when you last invested in a new furnace or bought a home with a furnace that was old, to begin with, replace it. The sooner you do, the better off your house will be.
Your Energy Bills Are Sky-High
It should come as no surprise that old furnaces are less efficient than newer models. Though it may not seem like an issue early on, the older your furnace gets, the more it costs to operate. As furnaces age, they gradually lose their efficiency. The parts and components start to break down and when this happens, the furnace has to use more energy to produce the same temperatures in your home. You may not see a change in the comfort of your home. But you will notice that your energy bills increase. If your bills are much higher than they have been in previous years, it’s time for a furnace replacement.
You’re Scheduling Repairs Frequently
Repairs happen and they can happen no matter how new or old your furnace is. But they should never be so frequent that you’re calling the repair technician every other month. You need to be able to rely on your furnace and trust it to provide you with heat when you need it. If you’re having breakdowns almost constantly, it’s time to replace the unit. Just make sure to hire someone who specializes in new furnace installations. Doing it yourself or hiring an unlicensed handyman can void the manufacturer’s warranty.
It Makes Strange Noises When It Turns On
Furnaces make noise when they start heating your home. It’s a natural side effect of their components working. But when those noises sound strange, you have a problem. Listen for loud grinding, clanking, banging, or hissing noises anytime the system turns on. If you hear them, get your furnace replaced. Those loud noises are often signs of damage inside the unit. In many instances, it can be more expensive to repair those issues than it is to replace the unit altogether.
Some Rooms Just Stay Cold
Furnaces come in different sizes. When they’re sized properly, they can heat your whole house easily. If they’re too small or too large, they often leave some rooms feeling colder than others. Pay attention to how each room feels when the system turns on. If some spots feel significantly colder, even when the thermostat is set to your preferred temperature, your furnace can’t keep up with your needs. And if your furnace can’t keep your home comfortable, it’s time to replace it. Once the new one gets installed, your house should stay at your preferred temperature in each zone.
The Furnace Keeps Turning On and Off
Furnaces turn on and off on their own when the thermostat sends the right signal to the system. These cycles will be relatively frequent, but it shouldn’t be almost constant. If your furnace turns on and off frequently throughout the day, there’s something wrong with the system. It may be that the unit is improperly sized. Or the system could have damaged components inside the system that cause it to turn on and off more often than it should. Your furnace technician can tell you whether it’s a simple fix or if you’re better off with a new furnace.
It’s Visibly Damaged
Furnace damage isn’t always invisible. Sometimes, it’s easy to see if you just inspect the system yourself. Take a look at the furnace. If you see signs of rust, corrosion, or leaks, it’s likely time for a replacement. These issues aren’t easy to repair and, if they do get fixed, the problems often pop back up in a matter of months. Installing a new furnace ensures that the system is in good shape and can stand up to your needs without issue.
You Have to Dust Almost Daily
Your furnace, like your air conditioner, brings air from outside your home and sends it out throughout your house. This air passes through a series of filters and travels through the ductwork before it reaches your rooms. When the furnace is working properly, the filters are enough to keep the dust and debris to a minimum. But when the furnace needs to get replaced, you’ll start to see a buildup of dust both in the filters and on the surfaces of your home. If you find that you’re dusting several times a week and can’t seem to keep up with the buildup, it’s time to replace your furnace. The sooner you do, the cleaner your home will stay.
Is It Time for a New Furnace?
These are just a few of the signs that it’s time to consider a new furnace. But if you’re still unsure, contact your HVAC technician and let them inspect your unit. They’ll let you know if the problem is minor or if you need a new unit as soon as possible. For more tips to help you keep your home in great shape, check out our latest posts.