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Is it Time to Replace or Repair Your Heating System?

Heating system
October 11, 2017

Heating system repair or replacement can be needed as your heating system gets older. As the cold seasons begin looming on the horizon, your furnace will soon be under the spotlight. Eventually, your temperature will drop and your furnace-use will skyrocket while you keep your home and your water warm enough to survive. Unfortunately, just like every other major appliance you love in your house, your furnace doesn’t get any younger. Whether this thought has occurred to you already or not, something could go wrong with your furnace that warrants a repair call or a replacement furnace altogether.

We always recommend that you make system checks before the winter truly hits so you can rest easy knowing all of your utilities will function properly during any inclement weather or blizzards. Your furnace is no exception to this rule. We’ve decided to lay out a few indicative signs to watch out for when performing your furnace check that may determine if you are in need of a repair/ replacement.

If you are undecided regarding the path to choose, consider the following parameters.

Age

The average lifespan of a furnace is 15-20 years, but higher quality furnaces can last for multiple decades, with some occasional repairs. This first issue may seem obvious, but we’ve found that not many people can answer how old their furnace truly is. Rule of thumb dictates that if your furnace is old enough to acquire its own driver’s license and go to prom with another beautiful furnace, it is probably time for a replacement.

If your furnace is older than a decade, you may be in store for a furnace repair pretty soon. Parts get old and rust/corrosion takes its toll. Also, it’s important to dig out your furnace warranty information and maintenance history. Some furnace warranties extend as long as 20 years, so check your warranty, whatever service you need may be covered.

Noise

Your furnace should not sound like a mad blacksmith pounding on an anvil. The only noise it should be making is the low grumble it exudes when it is cycling. Bangs, scrapes, booms, screeches, thumps, or any other strange noises should be considered a warning sign. Noises coming from your furnace can be attributed to any number of issues but if it is particularly loud and disrupting when turning on it may be the sign of a serious safety issue that should be addressed straightaway.

Heating System Efficiency

Is your monthly heating bill becoming an increasing burden? If so, your furnace may be to blame. In the past furnaces were far less efficient than today’s best models. Many furnaces common in homes have efficiency ratings (the amount of fuel that is turned into heat) that are in the ~70 percentiles, with the higher end models closer to 100%.

An increased heating bill without increased use is almost certainly indicative of a furnace in need of repair. You will want to act on this realization as quickly as possible, or turn your furnace off altogether, for every second this furnace is running you are paying for resources that you are not necessarily in need of. The main culprit of this problem can usually be traced to the ductwork within the furnace, but that’s not to say it couldn’t be a plethora of other reasons. A repair should be able to take care of the issue, but in some less frequent cases you may end up having to start shopping for a new furnace depending on how severe the issue.

Sight and Smell

Often, visual and auditory cues will key you in that something is wrong with your heating system. Two liquids pooling around your furnace that you’ll be able to see and know that something is wrong are water and gas. One of these things is a lot more dangerous to have pooling than the other, but either way, you will want to notify your contractor about the issue immediately. If you smell gas, odds are the furnace is leaking gas but you just can’t see it. In both cases, if you can see or smell gas, you will want to turn off your furnace as well as its gas supply valve in that moment. Especially if it is leaking gas, your home could be at risk if not treated appropriately and right away

If you’ve concluded that a new furnace is necessary, it’s not all bad news and may be a long-term win. You can ensure your home is equipped with a safe, quiet, warrantied and efficient furnace that results in lower monthly heating costs, no unexpected repair bills, higher home resale value and greater peace of mind.

Call Air Tech HVAC Inc today for more information on repairing or replacing your heating system!