As soon as you smell that first aroma of pumpkin spice in the air, you know it’s sweater time. It’s also time to crank up the furnace and make sure it’s ready for the heating season.
Are you ready?
While you may be excited to bring the cool weather clothing up from the basement, your HVAC system might not feel the same way. If you’re living with an outdated system or one that needs frequent repairs, you might need an HVAC replacement.
Wondering if you should start shopping for a new system? Read on and see if your HVAC system shows any of the following signs.
1. 10 Years and Counting
With regular maintenance, you may get a few more years out of it, but if your system is 10 years old (or older), consider replacing it.
A 10-year old heating and cooling system is considered outdated by today’s standards. Even if you bought a top-of-the-line system 10+ years ago, HVAC systems have come a long way since then.
Today’s systems have programmable thermostats and other features that not only are easy to use but help you run your system smarter. Another clue you’re ready for an HVAC replacement is an uneven temperature.
2. You Can’t Get Warm
Even if you don’t live in snow country, the cooler fall and winter temperatures can cause a chill not only in your bones but in your home.
When bumping up the thermostat doesn’t warm up the house, it’s time to inspect the furnace. Depending on the type of heating system, you may have one of the following issues.
- Closed gas supply line valve.
- Pilot light isn’t lit.
- Electronic starter failure.
- Tripped circuit breaker.
- Short circuit.
- Malfunctioning auxiliary heat strips.
- Low refrigerant.
Even if you’re an avid DIYer, Americare Heat & Air recommends calling an HVAC professional to come out and inspect the system.
3. Your System Never Stops Running
Have you noticed your system starts up more often? You may also notice it takes longer for it to warm up (or cool off) your home.
It’s possible you have bad coils or a faulty blower motor. Make sure you have these parts checked before installing a new system.
If the blower motor and coils aren’t bad, your HVAC system is crying out for help. It can no longer circulate air efficiently. The reason it runs longer than it should is that it’s taking too much time to reach the desired temperature.
In addition to running on and on, sometimes heating and cooling systems make noises they shouldn’t.
4. Weird Noises Coming from the Furnace Room
If you think about it, people get louder with age, so why not an HVAC system? Groans and grumbles aren’t uncommon for either, but not all noises are normal.
These sounds are not normal:
- Humming Blower
- Noisy Outdoor Unit
- Groaning and Banging Furnace
You may also notice your AC making loud noises at the start-up. Some noises indicate something loose or a part that needs replacement. Other noises are caused by blowers, fans, or motors.
When weird noises increase or remain after you make repairs, you’re likely looking at system replacement.
5. Making More Frequent Repairs?
All HVAC systems have parts you can repair or replace. Also, all HVAC systems wear out and repairs are no longer sufficient.
Another issue with repairing certain HVAC parts is that replacement is sometimes more cost-effective. Parts and labor for repairs can cost as much, or at least nearly as much as a replacement.
The reason? What you pay upfront for a new system may seem high, but when you weigh out the cost of constant repairs, it’s wiser if you invest in a brand-new system.
6. Out of Control Energy Bills
Did your energy bills increase more than usual over the last year? If you can’t explain the increase with more cold days or prolonged use of the furnace or AC, that’s a sign.
It’s just another problem associated with the aging HVAC system. Like people, HVAC units don’t work as well once they start getting older.
To keep your bills as low as possible, you need an efficient system. Older systems take more energy to heat and cool. You end up with higher electric or gas bills.
7. You Missed Your Service Appointment Again
Deep down, you know you should call your heating and cooling technician. You know your system needs an inspection, a filter change, and maybe even a cleaning at least once each year. Don’t feel guilty, everyone forgets.
The problem with not scheduling routine HVAC maintenance is when you don’t pay someone else to pay attention to your system, you’re setting your system up for an array of issues.
Small issues grow into major repair problems. Ignoring routine checks may also decrease the lifespan of your system. It’s also possible your system will develop a problem that can’t be fixed.
Have More Questions About HVAC Replacement?
Now that you know what signs your heating and cooling system may give when it needs help, you can help prepare the system for the fall and winter heating season.
Age, of course, is one sign. Keep an ear open for unusual sounds, including the sound it makes when it runs constantly. Pay attention to how well your system heats a room and keeps the warmth maintained.
Keep track of your energy bills. Also, If you're making repairs more frequently, consider an HVAC replacement. Finally, if you've missed several routine maintenance appointments, you may already be too late for repairs.
Your HVAC system is one of your home's major and most important appliances. You may have many more questions than we can answer in this short post.
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