Your home’s furnace is critically important for ensuring your comfort and safety during the winter. It also is one of the top sources of utility costs, whether it is an electric or gas furnace. A well-maintained and efficient furnace is essential for making your home warm and keeping your utility costs as low as possible.
Like all mechanical things, a furnace has an expected service life and eventually needs to be replaced. If your furnace is aging, you might experience common furnace problems that indicate its service life is near its end. Here are some common signs to look for that show it’s time for you to upgrade your home’s furnace.
Table of Contents
Lots of Dust, Dirt, and Rust
Your furnace should blow clean air, although how well you maintain the ducts and vents inside your home will make a difference in air quality. An older furnace might produce dust or dirt that blows through the ducts and into the living spaces inside your home. It might even blow rust particles into your home if the furnace has deteriorated and begun to rust. Any excess dust, dirt, or rust inside your home could create or aggravate respiratory problems.
Energy Bills Are Rising
An inefficient furnace will cause you to spend more on your utilities. The nation’s rising energy prices are making it harder for millions of households to afford to keep their homes heated during the wintertime. Replacing a furnace that has been in use for many years but is costing you more to use every year could virtually pay for a new furnace over its service life and give you a very good return on your investment.
Uneven Heating of Rooms
The furnace should heat all rooms equally well while in use. Unfortunately, many older models begin to struggle with forcing warm air through the ducts and vents. The farther a room’s vent is from the furnace, the harder it might be for the furnace to heat that room. Instead of plugging in a space heater that will run up your power bill, installing a new furnace should make your home’s heating system more efficient.
Increasingly Loud Operation
The furnace should be relatively quiet and produce only the sound of air flowing through the vents. Over time, though, you might notice other noises while the furnace is running. Those noises might include scraping, grinding, or squalling sounds that indicate problems with the blower motor.
A belt might be wearing out. A bearing might be going bad, or the blower motor might have reached the end of its practical service life. There are many possibilities, but unusual noises almost certainly are a sign that a furnace needs to be replaced.
Furnace Has Reached Its Service Limit
A home furnace’s service life is usually about a couple of decades but might be longer if it is an electric furnace or a boiler. An electric furnace might last about 30 years and a boiler even longer. No matter what type it is, though, the end of its service life is inevitable. Preparing to replace it will help you to make the transition to a better and more efficient furnace.
Nearly Constant Repairs
It certainly is normal for a furnace to need maintenance a couple of times each year and occasional repairs. It is not normal for the repairs to become frequent occurrences. The more often you have to repair your furnace, the more you should consider replacing it. Anything less than a thoroughly reliable and efficient furnace is a potential hazard.
It might stop working during the coldest of weather and require costly emergency repairs. A defective furnace also might pose a danger to your home. If it is a gas furnace, it might create the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning, fire, or an explosion. Instead of taking unnecessary chances while spending more and more on repairs, a furnace upgrade is a much better option.