Home Improvement

What to Know Before Replacement of a Furnace or Heating System 

3 Mins read

The heating is among the primary systems in the household, plus one of the costliest to replace. Fortunately, with sufficient care and upkeep, a furnace has a long lifespan of between “15 to 30 years.” Once it gets to 15 years, it could develop problems and start to need repairs. 

If these become frequent or the same problem is being fixed constantly, do not fret. You’ll want to talk about a replacement for your furnace with a professional contractor. For a heating system reaching 30 years, it is wise to start looking at new designs and have a budget set aside to make a purchase. 

Many variables will play into a unit’s longevity, including its installation, the extent of use, the type, and its care and upkeep. When the heating equipment is reaching the end of its life, you will notice warning signs that it is beginning to give out. 

Whether to stop repairing the equipment and instead replace it will ultimately boil down to its efficiency or how inefficient it has become. When the unit is working harder than it has but producing less heat with higher energy costs, it makes sense to consider the idea of a more energy-efficient system. 

Signs It is Time for a Furnace Replacement 

Typically, the lifespan for a furnace ranges between “15 and 30 years.” Many variables go into increased longevity, including a proper installation, adequate preventive maintenance, extensive use, and the furnace type. 

When you notice frequent repairs are needed, and often for the same things, the unit is likely working harder than it has in the past, causing significant wear and tear to a system that’s already aged.  

With less efficiency, utility costs will be higher, making it wise to consider the possibility of a more energy-efficient furnace. The upfront investment will be considerable, but the savings in energy costs over the long term will give a significant return. 

Check some furnace buying guide at https://www.cnet.com/home/energy-and-utilities/furnace-buying-guide/ .

When trying to discern if a replacement is necessary, it is important to pay attention to the warning signs the system will produce. Here are some things to watch for. 

  • The age 

The longevity of a furnace will depend on a few variables, but the average the heating systems are designed to function is between 15 and 30 years in a household. 

You can extend the longevity based on adequate care and upkeep, as well as scheduling routine preventive maintenance tune-ups with a certified technician each year. It is recommended to begin a preliminary search when the system turns fifteen from the installation date. 

The fuel type will have a bearing on the life cycle. Homeowners nowadays choose new electric heating systems rather than repair their old gas units because the electric equipment touts a 20–30-year life cycle while the gas furnace is designed for roughly 15-20 years.  

While a new gas system has a brief life compared to the electric equipment, they also are less expensive to operate, plus the gas brings a home up to temperature much faster. 

  • Loud noises coming from the unit while functioning 

Noises produced from the furnace could indicate it is time to replace the equipment—a few common sounds including screeching, popping, rattling, and humming. 

These are not only a sign that the unit should be replaced, but it is recommended to consider perhaps a new source like a heat pump, boiler, or ductless mini-split system to save on energy costs. What do the sounds mean? 

  1. Popping: Fluctuating temperature in the heating system affecting certain parts that react to temperature changes. 
  2. Rattling: Potential loose equipment/ducts – reach out to an HVAC tech about a furnace replacement.
  3. Screeching: A damaged blower motor is possible, but it could also be the pulley or a belt on an old furnace.
  4. Humming: This is the standard operation of the heating system blower motor. If it gets unusually loud, it is a warning that the equipment needs to be replaced.
  5. Clicking: The possibility with this noise is the igniter or the flame sensor, but in either situation, the technician can do a repair.
  6. Boom: A boom can be a severe furnace gas emission caused often by a slight delay when igniting. A lingering gas smell warns that a professional contractor must replace the heating system. 

Final Thought 

This is far from an exhaustive list of warning signs to let you know that a replacement furnace is something you should consider. It can be overwhelming trying to ascertain whether a system is genuinely at the end of its lifecycle. 

If you are unsure, reach out to a professional HVAC technician for an inspection. The contractor will assess the equipment to see if it still has a few more good years with just some necessary repairs or if it is time to look for a new, more energy-efficient unit. Click here for the best way to save money on a new HVAC system.

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