How to Know When it’s Time for a Furnace Replacement
March 17, 2021Categories: Heating
It can be challenging to know whether you need an entirely new furnace or if repairing your current one is enough. Recognizing the warning signs of a malfunctioning furnace is important so you aren’t (literally) left in the cold on a chilly day. And with your luck, your furnace will stop working on the coldest day of the year. So, don’t wait to have your furnace inspected or replaced, you’ll thank yourself later.
Spring is a great time to have your furnace replaced. As the weather warms up, you’ll be okay without the heat on while your furnace is being changed out. Also, technicians are typically less busy in the spring, making scheduling a furnace replacement easy. And most importantly, you might save a little money on your furnace or installation costs with off-season deals.
Furnace Replacement Indicators
1. If Your Furnace is Leaking Carbon Monoxide
Furnaces are supposed to vent the carbon monoxide out of your home, but some older or improperly working models may produce dangerously large amounts of CO. Additionally, cracks in the venting system, heat exchanger, or combustion chamber can cause CO to leak into your home. If your furnace is leaking carbon monoxide, it should be replaced as quickly as possible.
The CDC recommends you have your furnace inspected every year. You can also check for signs of carbon monoxide leaks yourself, although this should not replace inspection by a licensed technician. Here are some signs that your furnace may be releasing CO:
- Has a yellow or flickering furnace flame instead of blue
- Moisture around windows or walls
- Soot around the furnace
- Rust on the exhaust flue
- Bubbled and flaking paint on top of the heater
- Flu-like symptoms in family members
2. If Your Furnace is Noisier than Usual
If you notice your furnace is louder than usual or making strange noises, it could be a sign of other issues. If you hear humming, your fan motor might need to be replaced. Rattling can be a sign of loose ductwork, screws, or sheet metal. Rattling could even mean the lower furnace motor isn’t properly balanced. Screeching or whining could indicate that the blower motor or inducer motor is damaged or past its prime. It could also be a sign of several other issues, such as a loose bearing, deteriorating belt, or a problem with the pulley. If you hear any of these noises, have your furnace checked by a professional; it may be time for a new furnace installation.
3. If Your Furnace is Old
Furnaces can last 15 to 20 years if well maintained. If your older furnace continually needs monitoring and repairs, it may be time for a new system. A new furnace will be more efficient and better able to keep up with your needs. The U.S. Department of Energy claims that energy-efficient upgrades and a new high-efficiency furnace can cut your fuel bills as well as your furnace’s pollution output in half.
4. If You Want to Sell Your Home in a Few Years
If you’ve noticed your furnace hasn’t been performing well or is nearing the end of its life and you want to sell your home in a few years, replacing it can be a great investment. It could attract future buyers who will be relieved that they won’t have to replace the furnace any time soon. If not, it may need to be replaced during the inspection process anyway. If you choose not to replace it, buyers may make an offer lower than your asking price, or worse, not make an offer at all.
5. If Your Energy Bill Has Gone Up
Pay close attention to your energy bill in the winter. If you’re paying a lot more than last year, and the rates haven’t gone up, your furnace may be to blame. If your furnace is less than 15 years old and the cost to repair is less than half the cost of a furnace replacement, a repair should do the job. If your furnace is older and reaching the end of its life, it will likely need frequent repairs to remain efficient. At this point, consider replacing your furnace.
6. If Controlling Room Temperature is a Challenge
If you feel cold indoors or are constantly adjusting your thermostat because some areas of your house are colder than others, this could be a sign you need a new thermostat or even a new furnace. Your furnace may be old and not able to distribute heat properly throughout your house. An HVAC technician can assess the situation and determine the problem.