The furnace in your Ronkonkoma, NY home could provide up to two decades of reliable service. With regular maintenance and timely repairs, most furnaces last between 15 and 20 years. However, there will come a time when fixing recurring problems becomes more costly than simply replacing your heater. Moreover, this time might come much sooner than you expect. Following are six ways to know whether you should service your furnace or have a brand new one installed.
Your Furnace Is Getting Along in Age
Even if repairs are still possible, you should replace your furnace if it’s nearing the end of its lifespan and has lost most or all of its efficiency. The impressive efficiency ratings that many modern furnaces come with are contingent upon a variousactors. Among these are:
- Proper furnace installation
- HVAC ductwork that’s clean and in good general condition
- Having a sufficiently tight home envelope
Missteps when sizing and installing a furnace can shorten its lifespan. In fact, even making significant structural changes to your home after your furnace has already been sized and installed can cause your heating system stress that will eventually reduce its efficiency and its service life.
Untended ductwork, poor insulation, and massive air leaks increase the amount of work that furnaces have to do. So, even if your furnace is only 10 to 15 years old, it could be performing well below the level at which it performed when it was new. The best way to know is by reviewing your home energy bills for the past few years. If your heating costs have gone up dramatically but your lifestyle and yoving environment haven’t really changed, you can save more money in the long run by simply paying tofor more efficient model put in.
Your Indoor Air Quality Has Declined
Like efficiency, indoor air quality (IAQ) can be impacted by multiple factors. Aging and the related decline of heating equipment over time is only one of them. However, if you’re using a number of strategic measures to improve and protect your IAQ and you’re still having a hard time with airborne debris, you should probably let your furnace go. This can also be a good sign that it’s time to have your HVAC air ducts cleaned or replaced too.
Although a clean and high-rated air filter will pick up common household debris like dust, dirt, dander, and pet hair, your aging furnace could be shedding flakes of rust and mold. Moreover it may be clearing these particulates in areas that allow them to bypass the filter.
If your furnace is older and developing rust, or if you’ve had consistent problems with high humidity levels your air ducts, reach out to us at Cool Power LLC. New heating equipment or basic furnace and ductwork maintenance could help everyone in your household breathe a sier.
You Have Hot and Cold Spots Throughout the Building
New furnaces that are paired with functional ductwork should have the ability to heat rooms uniformly. If you have a central HVAC system that you haven’t yet zoned for efficiency, your furnace should create your preferred temperature throughout all corners of the building. If you have rooms that are excessively hot and rooms that are constantly chilly, this is an indication that your furnace no longer has the power to create and distribute heat evenly.
However, there’s a simple test that you can conduct to determine whether your furnace is underperforming or your HVAC air ducts are damaged. In the instance of hot and cold spots, itaky air ducts are depositing some of your heated air behind your home’s drywall. To determine if this is the case, run your heater for approximately 30 minutes. Then, place your hand on a wall in any room that doesn’t appear to be getting heat. If the wall is warm but the room is cold, you need HVAC air duct service. More importantly, your furnace could still have a lot of life left in it.
You’ve Done Some Renovating
Making structural changes to your home alters its envelope. It changes the amount of square footage that your furnace must service, and it impacts other factors that could make a major difference in the Manual J calculation that we perform when sizing furnaces. This remains true even if a recent add-on is simply considered “unserviced” and has ab ducting.
Improperly sized furnaces cause a host of problems. Not only do they wear down more quickly and develop far more repair issues along the way, but they can also increase your indoor humidity and set the stage for mold. In addition, when a furnace is too small for an intended service area, it also tends torun all of the time. This means having higher home energy bills even as your comfort and IAQ decline.
If you’ve recently made major structural modifications to your property or if you’re preparing to make some, get in touch with us at Cool Power LLC. We can ensure that your current heating system is up to the increased demand. We can also leinform youbout the cost and feasibility of either extending your ductwork to accommodate your new area or installing a ductless mini-split.
You Have a Noisy, Smelly Furnace
Furnaces come a lot more distracting during operation as they get older. What was once a gentle hum might now be constant rattling, whirring, or clanging sounds. This change might be the result of aging or lose parts, or it may simply mean that your furnace is getting ready to break down. It’s important to pay attention and respond to loud furnace noises rather than ignoring and eventually acclimating to them. This is one of a heating system’s ways of letting homeowners know there’s a need for either service or replacement.
Fortunately, you can replace a noisy furnace later. This is a good time to schedule your annual furnace service instead. Only a licensed HVAC professional can accurately determine whether there are loose or worn parts that need replacing, if deep cleaning is required, or if the furnace has reached the end of its lifespan.
This is also true in the instance of unpleasant furnace smells. A pervasive, dusty, burning smell when you first turn your heater on for the season is both normal, and a strong sign that it’s time for a good cleaning. On the other hand, smelling rotten egg odors, burnt soot, or dusty, burnt smells that don’t dissipate within a matter of minutes indicate serious problems. In fact, the instance of rotten egg smells, it’s a sign of imminent danger. If your furnace is putting out concerning or unpleasant aromas, turn it off right away and schedule service.
There’s Visible Structural Damage
When there’s visible structural damage on your furnace, the likelihood of being able to resolve the problem with service is low. The most common form of structural damage among aging furnaces that are ready to be replaced is corrosion. Age-related problems like rust, cracks, and other changes in the integrity of your heating system are progressive. The only way to keep them from worsening is to have the furnace replaced.
Cool Power LLC has been proudly serving residents of Ronkonkoma, New York since 1976. We offer heating and cooling installation, maintenance, and repairs. If your furnace is ready for service or if it needs replaced, give us a call now!