As we’re well on our way into winter, you’ve already begun utilizing your furnace. But can it get through the winter effectively and efficiently? The professionals at Wyckoff Heating & Cooling know the difference between a furnace that can be repaired, and one that should be replaced. Review our tips below to make an informed decision on your furnace this season.
Consider lifespan. If your furnace was in place before you moved in, the first thing to do is research the age of your unit. This may be as simple as reviewing the owner’s manual or contacting the manufacturer with the unit’s model number. The average life expectancy in homes today is between 16 and 20 years, depending on care and maintenance. If your furnace is close to this age or older, now would be a good time to start researching replacement options so you can plan this home improvement rather than make a decision under pressure. At Wyckoff, we recommend ENERGY STAR® equipment for maximum efficiency.
Warning Signs. Before you make the decision on whether to repair or replace, there are a few telltale signs your furnace needs to be inspected and potentially replaced. Just like your car, if you pay attention, your furnace will let you know how it’s performing. Consider the following:
- Are your energy bills going up despite the same usage? Furnaces often lose their efficiency as they age, causing your furnace to run longer only to provide the same amount of heat.
- Does your furnace require frequent repairs? Like cars, you can replace one part only to need another replaced or repaired next year. Furnaces incur the most breakdowns in the last 2 years of their lives. You may wish to get ahead of the game, and invest in a new furnace rather than continue making repairs.
- Are rooms in your home heated evenly? This could be related to various issues, one being that your furnace lacks the ability to properly distribute air. Duct problems, inadequate air sealing or insulation could also be the cause. No matter how efficient your heating and cooling system is, if your home is not properly sealed and insulated against air leakage, you will not be as comfortable and your system will have to work harder.
- If you have a natural gas furnace, is your burner flame yellow instead of blue? A yellow or flickering flame may be a sign that carbon monoxide is being created by your furnace. Other possible signs include: streaks of soot around the furnace, excess moisture found on windows and walls, and excessive rust on flue pipes or appliance jacks.
- Is your furnace making strange noises? Old furnaces start to make strange noises as they reach the end of their life. If you have heard banging, popping, rattling, or squealing or if your blower turns on and off frequently, these are all signs your furnace may need to be replaced.
- Does your home have dust or humidity problems? Poorly operating or improperly sized equipment could be to blame. Leaky ductwork can also cause these problems, so having it sealed may be a solution. Monthly maintenance of your heating and cooling equipment’s filters may also help. Old furnaces often lack the ability to moisturize and clean the air in your home.
- Does your home feel stale or do family members suffer from allergies? Poor indoor air quality may be associated with on old furnace, poor ventilation and various other reasons. Have a Wyckoff professional inspect your home if you see issues in your air quality.
Money Saving Options to Consider
If your furnace is not over the expected lifespan or it’s not quite time for replacement, you can still reduce heating costs by following a few simple steps:
- Consider a home energy audit. Here you will discover areas that need additional insulation or leaks in your home that can be prevented. Uncover inexpensive upgrades that won’t break the bank.
- Take steps to ensure proper maintenance of your furnace. This will extend the lifetime of your furnace and uphold a high air quality in your home. Something as simple as regularly changing your filter can go a long way.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust your home’s temperature to fit your schedule.
One of the most important investments and equipment in your home, it’s important to ensure your furnace is running safely, effectively and efficiently. At Wyckoff Heating & Cooling, we are here to help you make the decision on whether to repair or replace your furnace. By calculating your furnace’s efficiency and annual cost savings, we can help you make an informed decision that will ensure your family stays warm each day this winter and many winters to come. To get more information needing to repair or replace your furnace contact us. To learn more about getting your furnace serviced watch our fall tune up video now.