If you’re a homeowner, it’s inevitable that you’ll have to replace your furnace at some point. A bell may go off in your head when you hear other people talk about replacing their furnace. Maybe you had your furnace repaired after shivering through a cold breakdown or just moved into an older home. So how do you know it’s time to replace your furnace?
The average furnace’s lifespan is anywhere from 15-30 years depending on the quality of the furnace and level of maintenance it has received. If your furnace is well into its teen years and beginning to show signs of slowing down, consider having an expert evaluate it.
But what are the common signs of age and failure in a furnace? We’ve collected some red flags that indicate it might be time for a replacement.
Your energy bill is rising
It feels like each year it gets more and more expensive to keep homes heated in the winter. There are many external factors that can lead to a hefty heating bill. But if you had record high heating costs this winter, your furnace could be to blame. As your furnace ages and begins to wear out, it will become less efficient. An old furnace uses significantly more energy than a new one to heat your home. This means paying more for the same amount of heat.
It's dustier than usual
Are you constantly dusting and wiping surfaces only to find a fresh coat of grime each time you turn around? This could be a sign it’s time to get a new furnace. First, check the filter and either clean it or replace it. Then, if the dust persists, call in the professionals to take a look. As a furnace ages, its filtration system begins to go. Your furnace may no longer be filtering air efficiently, leading to reduced air quality and significantly more dust in your home.
Your furnace is making strange sounds
If you hear loud grinding, banging, or squeaking noises coming out of your furnace, it’s a sign something is wrong. It’s easiest to listen to these sounds near the furnace. However, you may occasionally be able to hear bangs and other strange sounds echoing through the vents. Spend some time listening to your furnace. If anything seems out of the ordinary, call the professionals for a second opinion.
Smelling something weird when your air is turned on can sometimes indicate a furnace has its best days behind it. A musty smell at the beginning of the season, when the furnace hasn’t been used in a while, is normal. But if this smell lasts more than a few days, you should schedule maintenance.
The furnace cycle isn't running properly
Typically, you set your thermostat to your desired temperature and your furnace runs until this temperature has been reached, and shuts off. Then, as the thermostat detects the air in your home changing from your desired temperature, the furnace will begin running again to keep it there. If your furnace is switching on and off very frequently or it seems to be constantly running without turning off, it could be a sign of a problem.
The air in your home is too dry
Are you suffering from unusually itchy skin, a dry nose, and coughing fits? It’s possible your furnace is the culprit. Older gas furnaces tend to dry the air out quickly. This is because they draw a lot of cold winter air from outside into your home. Unfortunately, this causes the humidity level in your home to plummet, leading to harsh winter air conditions indoors.
Or, the air in your home is too moist
On the other end of the spectrum, a failing furnace could result in moisture buildup. Have you noticed condensation collecting on windows and ceilings? Is your bathroom remaining damp and humid long after showers? Because an old furnace can’t easily circulate air around your home, moist air becomes stagnant and trapped. If you are noticing moisture buildup, contact an HVAC specialist immediately as this can lead to mold growth.
Room temperature isn't consistent
Are certain rooms in your home uncomfortably warm while others are freezing cold? An old furnace could be to blame. This is because your furnace doesn’t have the power to circulate the air through your house consistently. So, if you wake up at night or avoid rooms because of uncomfortable temperatures, it’s time to have your furnace inspected.
If your furnace is 15 years or older and showing any of these signs, it’s time to consider replacing it. If you aren’t sure if it needs to be replaced or if it’s less than 15 years old, you can have an expert look at it to make an assessment. A trustworthy and reliable HVAC company will give you an honest evaluation of your furnace’s efficiency and life expectancy.
Whyte Ridge’s team of skilled technicians can determine whether your furnace should be repaired or replaced. If your HVAC system isn’t keeping your home comfortable, book an appointment today.