We get calls all winter long about furnaces not working properly. Maybe a certain room isn’t getting warm enough, or the furnace is blowing cold air. Frankly, we’ve seen almost every problem that can happen with a furnace. One thing that is helpful for homeowners is knowing the signs that it is time to replace your furnace.
I’ve been repairing and replacing furnaces for 20+ years now. In my experience, there were always a few factors that played into the decision to replace a furnace, depending on what the homeowner wants. I like to take a look at all options first. What will it take to repair it? What are the benefits of replacing the furnace? Really give the homeowner each option that fits their situation.
This guide will walk you through the warning signs that indicate it’s time to replace your furnace, how to decide between repairing and replacing, and tips to prolong the life of your furnace.
The lifespan of a furnace typically ranges between 15 to 20 years, depending on the make, model, and how well it’s been maintained. Regular maintenance can extend its life, but even the best-kept furnace will eventually need to be replaced.
Knowing how old your furnace is, is usually a good place to start making your decision about a replacement. If the furnace is newer, it may just need a service or a simple repair. If your furnace is 10+ years old and runs into a major problem, it’s time to start thinking about a replacement.
The most obvious sign that there is a problem with your furnace is the temperature of your home. If your furnace struggles to distribute heat evenly or maintain a comfortable temperature, it could be losing its efficiency, and its ability to keep the whole home warm. This inefficiency can result from various issues, such as a compromised heat exchanger, poor duct design, or simply the furnace’s natural wear and tear hurting the system’s performance.
As furnaces age, they often lose efficiency due to natural wear and tear on their components. This inefficiency forces them to work harder and longer to provide the same amount of heat, leading to higher energy consumption and bills. Keep an eye on your energy bills, which sometimes offer comparisons to your neighbors, and the year over year energy consumption statistics. If you are using more energy than your neighbors, and last year, get your system looked at.
Frequent repairs are a clear sign that your furnace is on its last legs. If you have to have your furnace repaired frequently, it may be a better idea to invest that money in a new heating system, rather than sinking money into the old one!
Odd smells and unusual noises (such as banging, whining, or groaning) coming from your furnace are not to be ignored. Every furnace is going to make some noise when it turns on and off, just as it may smell a little the first time it turns on.
But, if the smells are strong and persistent, or the noises get loud and unusual, it could be a problem. These symptoms can indicate a range of issues, from a dirty burner to a failing motor. Call in a professional. This may be able to be fixed with a routine service or repair. If it’s a bigger problem, your HVAC technician will be able to let you know.
Deciding whether to repair or replace your furnace can be a tough choice. You may think that the price tag of a new furnace is too expensive, without considering how much you are spending on energy bills. If you have an old system with high energy costs, you are spending more in the long run by keeping the old system.
Consider the age of your system, and how much the cost of a repair is. If you can get your system repaired for less than $1000, the repair may be a good move, especially if you can get a few more years out of it. If the system is 10+ years old, or the repair is more than $1000, think about a replacement. The lower energy bills will be able to offset some of the cost, plus your home will be more comfortable, for years to come.
Regular furnace maintenance is the key to extending the life of your furnace. We recommend you schedule regular furnace service once a year. During this visit, a professional will inspect your system, and make sure that it’s running properly and efficiently. They will clean the components, and get ahead of any replacement for parts that could be needed after the regular wear and tear.
On your own, you can replace air filters every two months or as recommended. Ensuring vents are not blocked, and keeping the area around the furnace clean and free from clutter will help keep the system running more efficiently. Additionally, installing a programmable thermostat can help reduce the workload on your furnace by adjusting the temperature when you’re not home or when you’re sleeping.
Compass Heating and Air are the experts in furnace replacements in East Dundee, IL, and the surrounding areas. We can take a look at your current furnace and let you know if it’s time for a repair or a replacement. Give us a call at (630) 504-8688, or contact us online to schedule an appointment today!