When Should You Replace Your Furnace?

Winter is finally starting to make its way to North Texas, and hopefully your heater is prepared to keep your family warm all winter. But… How do you know if it isn’t? Luckily, there are some common warning signs that indicate it might be time to replace your furnace.

Keep your furnace’s age in mind.

Properly maintained and operated furnaces can typically last up to 15 years. However, once your furnace approaches this age, warning signs that seem insignificant might actually mean that it’s time for a new furnace. One of the main signs that your furnace could be struggling is that your system runs more frequently or longer in order to reach the desired temperature. It’s unlikely that your home’s furnace will fail without warning, so pay close attention to the patterns of your system once it gets up in age.

Increase in energy costs.

As furnaces get older, their efficiency gradually decreases, meaning they have to work harder to keep your home at the desired temperature. This reduced efficiency naturally occurs with expected wear and tear, but could be worse due to a lack of routine maintenance.

Before replacing your furnace, take the time to have a few things inspected:

  • Furnace leaks: If leaks are present within your furnace, it will work much harder than it’s intended to in order to heat your home. Also, a leaking furnace can release carbon monoxide into your home which can be very dangerous for you and your family.
  • Proper furnace ventilation: Open ventilation is essential for a furnace to operate efficiently. Check to ensure that your furnace is positioned so that no items are obstructing the vents.
  • Maintained Filters: We recommend that filters are replaced every couple of months. If your filter is contaminated with dust and debris, it can cause restricted airflow. This causes your furnace to use more energy to keep air circulating, which increases energy costs. Remaining consistent with filter maintenance will assist in energy efficiency and improve your home’s indoor air quality. 
  • Old Windows and Doors: Check your home’s windows and doors for any potential leaks as they can lead to increased utility bills as well.

Frequent Necessary Repairs.

As furnaces get older, it’s common for their individual components to deteriorate. The consistent need of costly repairs can be irritating for any homeowner, and often indicate the need of an entirely new furnace. Furnaces themselves often last around 15 years, but the same can not be said for the components within a furnace. Some of the most common furnace repairs you may encounter include:

  • Thermostat: The thermostat is the mind behind your entire HVAC system. If your thermostat isn’t functioning properly, it can cause your unit to underperform.
  • Cracked Heat Exchanger: If your heat exchanger is cracked, it creates potentially dangerous circumstances and requires an immediate emergency repair. This is because a cracked heat exchanger can release carbon monoxide into your home. Unfortunately, it’s often more cost effective to replace the entire furnace due to replacement costs of the heat exchanger. 
  • Blower Motor: When blower motors do not function efficiently, the furnace loses the necessary airflow to heat your home and circulate air. A faulty blower motor can also cause issues with other parts within the furnace.
  • Ignition: If your furnace’s ignition system frequently turns on and off or doesn’t operate at all, it’s a sign that your furnace’s ignition system might need to be replaced.   

Uneven Heating and Unusual Noises

If your home is heating unevenly, it’s often a sign that your home might have some duct issues such as leaks or blockages. However, if the concern is not within the ductwork, it is likely the filter or blower motor. As for unusual noises, the outcome of your furnace usually leans towards one extreme or the other– A simple, inexpensive fix or the need for a complete new furnace.

We have presented a lot of information to you here. To simplify things, if your furnace is failing to effectively heat your home, it’s most likely time for a new one. If you begin to notice uneven heating, escalated monthly heating bills, the inability to produce enough heat, or concerns associated with the furnace’s lifespan, contact us for a furnace checkup to discuss the options that best suit your needs at 972-548-1323.

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