Many of us pay little attention to our furnaces until they fail, leaving us facing emergency repair bills or, worse, the unexpected hassle and expense of a system replacement. Homeowners who tune in to their heating systems, however, can pick up on some clues that it’s almost time for a new one.
Some advance knowledge can help you make a thoughtful decision about your furnace replacement rather than a mad scramble to heat your home as the temperature drops.
Seven signs that your furnace may be on its last legs:
- It’s old: The sturdiest old furnaces live to be about 20 years old; many die before that. If you’re not sure when your furnace was installed, check for a pilot light. If it has one, your furnace has probably already surpassed that 20-year mark. The good news: Today’s furnaces greatly surpass the old ones in terms of energy efficiency.
- It breaks down frequently: If your repair bills are adding up, consider whether a furnace replacement would be more cost-effective than repeated calls to your technician. Keep in mind that most furnaces need the most repairs in their final couple of years.
- Your power bills are escalating: If your operating costs rise beyond what you’d expect from rising electricity or gas costs, your furnace is running less efficiently. — it’s wasting energy and money.
- Your family can’t get comfortable: Are some rooms are too hot and some too cold? Do you often fiddle with the thermostat in a futile attempt to solve the problem? Your furnace may no longer be able to deliver warm air throughout your home.
- You hear strange noises: Squeals, rattles and vibrations from your system often indicate trouble.
- You fear a carbon monoxide leak: Signs of the potentially fatal gas in your home: sooty streaks near the furnace, water on walls, rusty pipes and connections, and an uneven or yellow flame.
- Your home feels stuffy: Old, failing furnaces can’t properly clean or humidify your air. New ones can be installed with whole-house filtration and humidification systems.
Questions? Call the professionals at Overland Park Heating & Cooling.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace replacement and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.