How old is your furnace?
The average life expectancy of furnaces in homes today is between 16 and 20 years (if your furnace is close to this age or older, you should plan for replacement). For starters, look at your furnace to see if you have a pilot light. If you do, it is almost certain to be over 25 years old! Replacing a furnace in an emergency doesn’t allow time to make your best decision and could leave you at the mercy of a contractor.
Are Your Gas & Electric Bills Going Up?
Rising gas and electric prices are not the only reason for high bills. Furnaces often lose their efficiency as they age especially if they have not been properly maintained. As a result your furnace may run longer to provide the same amount of heating or cooling (causing your utilities to rise).
Any Furnace Repairs in the last 2 years?
HVAC systems are like vehicles. It doesn’t take long to spend $500 just to keep the old furnace running. Furnaces incur the most breakdowns in the last 2 years of their lives. Did you have to wait to get parts? As a furnace ages, it gets harder to get replacement parts. Consider this before repairing an older unit.
Does your thermostat keep you comfortable?
Are some rooms are too cold while others are too hot? Or are you always trying to adjust your thermostat to make your home more comfortable? This is a sign that your furnace lacks the ability to properly distribute the air to keep you comfortable in your home.
Is your burner flame yellow instead of blue?
A yellow or flickering flame may be a sign of incomplete combustion or flame impingement. This may cause carbon monoxide, streaks of soot around furnace, excessive rusting on exhaust or other pipe connections, a small amount of water at the base of the chimney, vent, or flue pipe. It may cause premature failure of the heat exchanger or other primary components.
Is your furnace making strange noises?
Old furnaces often start to make some strange noises as they get toward the end of their life. Have you heard any banging, popping, rattling, or squealing noises coming from your furnace? Another noise is when you hear the furnace blower running excessively. Does your blower turn on & off frequently or does it blow cold air sometimes? If so, this is a sign that your furnace may need to be replaced, or maintenance.
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How have you & your family been feeling?
Furnaces as they age run the risk of developing cracks in the heat exchanger possibly leaking carbon monoxide into your home undetected. Signs of this may be frequent headaches, a burning feeling in nose or eyes, nausea, disorientation, flu-like symptoms. Should you experience any of these, air out your house, open a window to the furnace room and immediately call a gas service technician.
Is your house dry or dusty?
Old furnaces often lack the ability to moisturize and clean the air in your home. Your house air may feel stuffy or stale. Other signs may be frequent dust accumulation, static shocks, drooping plants, furniture cracking and musical instruments that do not stay in tune. These signs all suggest that your old furnace is not capable of providing you with the comfort you and your need. Adding an air purifier or humidifier may eliminate these issues.