Signs You Need to Replace Your Furnace
Yes, it's almost that time of the year again. You know, when the temperatures are finally starting to cool down and your heat seems to be running from morning until night. Right now is a great time to ensure that you are ready for those cold temps. You never want to wait until your car breaks downs to have it serviced. The same goes for your furnace. It never fails that your furnace acts up in the middle of the night on the weekend, or when you have guests!
Below we have created a checklist to help you determine if your furnace needs to be replaced or at least has potential issues that need to be addressed before the cold of the winter.
The furnace is more than 15 years old.
When your furnace hits 15 years is typically when it will start having recurring issues. Your system may still be running, but at this age, it's likely that the unit isn't running at maximum efficiency. This creates higher utility bills at the peak of the season.
The older the furnace, the more maintenance and repairs it will need. Typically, the furnace will have the most issues in the last 2-3 years of it's working life. If the furnace is 15 - 20 years old, and you have a repair, you really need to weigh out all your options. If the repair is costing more than 15 percent of a new furnace, it's your best bet to go ahead and consider replacing it. If you have a heat exchanger there is more of a possibility that it could have a crack in it releasing carbon monoxide.
If you are one of the lucky few that have a furnace over 15 years, with little to no issues and want that furnace to continue working efficiently without break downs, you should invest in a semiannual maintenance program. These programs extend the life of your system and will increase the efficiency.
Your energy bills and repair prices keep getting higher and higher.
Think about older model cars and their gas mileage. They just don't run as efficiently as the newer models do. This is the same for your furnace. An older furnace will work harder to provide the levels of heating as it did when it was a brand-new unit. When you have a repair, yes it may be cheaper at the time to just have the repair, but in the long run when other issues happen, your repairs will add up quickly! The amount of money savings with a new higher efficient unit will be more than worth the short-term investment.
You've started hearing some strange noises.
Your furnace will make noises when it turns on and off, but if they are getting louder than normal it could be a sign to replace your unit. The noises could sound like cracking, knocking, whining, or squealing. These could all be signs that the furnace might need to be replaced or inspected for the need for repairs. Your system should be quiet and not cause any distractions with noises and knocking. Here are some possible reasons your unit could be making those types of noises and the potential repairs involved.
- Cracking/Rattling - Loose ductwork, loose screws or sheet metal, or that the lower motor isn't balanced properly.
- Knocking/Popping - This noise can happen when the parts in your furnace get warm and cool with the temperature changes set on the thermostat.
- Whining - Your fan motor may produce a slight or mild humming noise when it is running. But it should never be loud or disrupting.
- Squealing - This noise could indicate that there is an issue with one of the motors. Possible issues could be a loose bearing or weakening belt.
If you think that you are having any of these issues and would like to have a design consultant out to provide you with your options; please give Casteel a call.