As with any major appliance, there is a tipping point to determine whether you should keep your aged appliance or if it is time for a new one. In evaluating old versus new, consider which is a better option – continuing to sink repair money into an inefficient aged system or investing in a new replacement unit. Your furnace is an appliance with telltale signs indicating the tipping point to invest in a new unit is near. Following are five signs that the end of your furnace is near.
Most furnace models have a lifespan of 15 – 20 years. If your unit is fifteen years or older then the scales are tipping towards a new furnace on your horizon. Not sure how old your system is? Check for the age in the owner’s manual. Unable to locate your owner’s manual, look on the furnace itself. Some contractors write the year of installation on the unit. If you are still out of luck, find the model number on your furnace and contact the manufacturer to determine its age. While the average lifespan of a furnace is 15 – 20 years, consider additional indicators as to the true lifespan of your unit.
Heat Is Inefficient
If your furnace is not heating your home efficiently then the end may be near for your unit. The main purpose for your furnace is to keep your family warm and comfortable in the winter months. If your system isn’t doing its job, then it could be costing you on inflated utility bills and future repair bills. If the unit turns on and off frequently, if there are cold spots in your home then your system is an inefficient heat source.
High Energy Bills
Particularly if your furnace is an inefficient heat source, more often than not, your energy bill will be above average. When the heat is inefficient, then your system requires more effort to try and heat your home. The greater the effort your unit exerts the more energy the furnace uses and in-turn the greater your utility bill. Often times we find that homeowners will notice an elevated energy bill before they notice an inefficient heat distribution in their home. If high heat bills persist, it may be time to consider a new furnace.
One obvious sign that your furnace needs attention is if it is making loud noises. Loud booming and banging noises often indicate an issue with an unbalanced blower motor or wheel or sheet metal siding that is bent. When the unit first kicks on or when the system is in operation, loud noises are an indication that your system is in serious trouble.
The sound of metal clanking or scraping could indicate a loose blower wheel hitting the blower housing. If this issue persists, both the blower wheel and housing could become permanently damaged. Additionally, the sound could be a result of a blower wheel or motor mount that are already broken. Either way, this noise points to a furnace repair that requires the attention of an expert technician.
If your furnace makes screeching sounds when it is in use, then your system also needs attention. Although not as extreme as the loud banging noise, squeals and screeches indicate that there is friction within your unit which requires lubrication or a loose fan belt. While these repairs are more minor, they do require the attention of an experienced technician.
Sounds that mimic low rumblings could mean either your furnace needs a routine tune-up or there is an issue with the burner. Either way, an experienced HVAC technician can diagnose the problem with your system and advise you on the lifespan of your existing unit.
If your furnace system has required repairs the past couple of seasons and this season is shaping up for another round of repairs, it is time to do the math. Consider how old your system is. An older unit with increasing repair bills and inefficient utility costs will add up to a figure that may be greater than a newer more energy-efficient furnace unit.
Call The Professionals
If your home’s furnace has one or more of these indicators, then chances are a new system is in your future. Be proactive, don’t wait until your unit breaks. Contact Smith & Keene to schedule one of our expert HVAC technicians to evaluate your existing furnace. If repairing your system is the right route, our team can handle it. If it is better to get a new unit, our team is specially trained to guide you in selecting the ideal furnace for your home.