There isn’t really any straight forward answer to this question. However, on the average, a well-maintained furnace lasts 15-20 years. Of course, that still depends on the type of furnace installed in your home, your usage type, and even how your unit was installed.
A fully functioning, highly efficient furnace will not only save you on energy and repair cost, but also ensures that you and your family are safe. This pandemic has made us all stay at home. What we don’t want is the air circulating in you home is toxic.
But how can you tell if yours needs just another repair or a complete replacement, let us help you.
7 Signs to tell you when to replace your furnace
If your furnace is more than 15 years old, then it is time to retire and replace it with a new one. Similar to a vehicle, the older the furnace is, the more inefficient it becomes and the more repairs you need to do.
If your system is old, and / or is experiencing these signs, then it is time to consider a replacement.
F – Flame
If you are using a gas furnace, it should always burn a clean blue flame. A yellow flame indicates that it is burning a lot of carbon monoxide. This may be a result of a dangerous gas leak or a problem in the combustion process.
U – Uneven Temperature
How is the temperature of your home? If your furnace is old and there are sudden temperature fluctuations, then you might need to have your furnace replaced. Sudden temperature fluctuations will not only cause surge in energy cost, but also signals an impending breakdown. You don’t want your unit to breakdown when you need it the most.
R – Recurring Repairs
This is pretty straight forward. If you see yourself paying for recurring repairs that do not seem to get fixed, then the whole heating system may be the problem.
N – Noise
As mentioned in our previous post about furnace repairs, any kind of noise, especially coming from the furnace/motor itself, you need to have it checked. Noises can be a tell tale sign that you need to replace it, especially if your unit is old and is not producing anymore heat.
A – Accumulated Dirt/Soot
Have you noticed dark soot/dirt stains near your vents and/or grille? Have it checked. While it may be because of a dirty filtration system, it may be a sign of a more serious combustion problem. There is a potential risk of Carbon Monoxide poising (especially for gas) if the heater is producing soot. This will render your furnace unsafe for use.
C – Costly Repairs and Maintenance
Similar to recurring repairs, if the cost of the repair is adding up, then it might be more cost effective to just replace your furnace.
E – Efficiency
Efficiency of our heating system is affected by a lot of things. One is the age of your furnace. A 15-20 year-old unit probably has an AFUE rating of 50-70%. This means around 30-50% of the energy is being wasted and is not heating your home. That will translate to higher energy costs just to get your home at a comfortable temperature.
If you notice that your energy cost has an unusual surge, then it is time for a replacement.
What to consider when replacing your furnace.
There’s a lot of things to consider then choosing to replace your furnace. Here we give our top of mind considerations which you can discuss with your professionals.
Check the size of your old furnace. While this may sound a bit odd, checking the dimensions of your old unit and taking it into consideration will help you save money. You wouldn’t need to make major renovations just to accommodate a new furnace that is out of speck.
You should also consider the size of your home. Premature replacement could have been cause an ill-speck furnace that is not enough to cover your home. At times, a smaller heating system used to warm a larger space will break down faster due to over exertion.
You also need to choose the type of furnace you would want to install. There are several being sold in the market. Each have it’s own unique feature:
Types of Furnaces
A Natural Gas Furnace, as the name suggests, use natural gas to heat up a home or a structure. It converts natural gas into heat and distributes hot air throughout your home or area via ducts and vents. A study in 2019 published by OSTI.gov claims that 70% of the US household uses this kind of heating. This makes it the most popular among the American household.
In contrast to Natural Gas, oil furnaces converts oil into heat then distributes the heated air throughout your home. It is easy to install as it doesn’t need any pipeline, and can last from 15-20 years. Initial start-up cost is lower, but is offset by the high cost of oil consumption. Newer oil furnaces have a rating of 85% to 90% efficiency or AFUE rating.
This type of furnace uses electricity, or electric ignition to heat the different components and forces hot air through the ducts/vents. Upfront cost is cheaper than natural gas or oil furnaces. However, this is offset with high electricity cost, making electric heat more expensive in the long run.
In this type, propane, instead of natural gas, oil or electricity is used to force heated air throughout your structure.
We at Better Home Service can assist you in choosing a furnace that will match your structure.
How to extend lifespan of your furnace.
We want to maximize your investment. In here we listed down a few tips to help you lengthen the lifespan of your furnace
Replace air filters regularly. Regularly replacing your filter will not only ensure that the indoor air quality is okay, but also your air vents are clear. Clear vents will help prolong the useful life by avoid over-exertion. Also clear air circulation system will ensure that heat is distributed to your home effectively and efficiently.
Next is ensure optimum thermostat settings. While there are times that we want our place super toasty, rising the temperature to max or near max settings could cause
And, just like anything else, ensure that your systemis checked annually. A regularly scheduled maintenance by a reputable and trusted professionals will be able to catch any budding problem.
We at Better Home Service will make sure that your furnace is performing at its optimal capacity. We are are your one-stop shop for HVAC Replacement and Repairs and Maintenance services. Our team of professionals are available 24/7 to take any concerns or questions that you may have.